Monthly Archives: May 2012

Live updates from third round of NCAA golf championships

9:20 p.m. Alabama finished Thursday with a 2-stroke advantage.

7:47 p.m. UCLA holds a one stoke late in the round.

7:28 p.m. In softball action, Alabama leads Tennessee 4-2 in the third inning of the Women’s College World Series. The Tide golf team leads by one stoke.

7:19 p.m. All square at 8-over for Alabama and UCLA.

7:02 p.m.: Bruins back within a stroke again.

6:57 p.m.: The Tide lead is back up to two strokes as UCLA officially squanders big start. The Bruins are back to even par for the round while the Tide is 2-over for the third round.

6:51 p.m.: Alabama back up 1.

6:47 p.m.: Back to a tie in the team standings. Alabama and UCLA both 6-over as the last players make the turn.

6:43 p.m.: Somehow this slipped past me before. Cory Whitsett leapfrogged Thomas in the individual standings. He’s now third at 2-under for the tournament and 1-under today. Thomas is tied for sixth at -1.

6:35 p.m.: Team score is still tied. Alabama leads by one stroke. Justin Thomas is back to sixth on the individual scoreboard shooting 1-over today. He’s five shots behind the leader.

6:18 p.m.: It’s a tie once again. Both Alabama and UCLA sit at 8-over as they make the turn in Round 3. The Tide is +4 today and the Bruins are even.

6:09 p.m.: The Crimson Tide lead is two strokes over UCLA. Washington is next sitting five strokes off the top spot, but 2-under for the round.

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And the No. 8 video on the Daily Bama Blog summer countdown is …

Welcome back to the countdown. I’m still your host. Today, we stick with a similar theme with the No. 8 video in Daily Bama Blog history. Like yesterday’s pick, this one is one of the more recent videos.

So, check out the next hit on the countdown, Trent Richardson’s pro day workout from March 29 with more than 38,000 views thus far.

 

Previously on the countdown ..

No. 10: Rammer Jammer after 2011 football win at Florida
No. 9: Trent Richardson runs the 40

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The No. 9 video on the summer countdown

I almost forgot the countdown on its second day of existence. Better late than not at all.

So, without delay … The ninth most viewed video in Daily Bama Blog history is also one of the newest.  Trent Richardson’s 40-yard dash from March 29 has nearly 34,000 views already. Watch it again here.

 

Previously on the countdown ..

No. 10: Rammer Jammer after 2011 football win at Florida

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Live updates from Round 2 of NCAA men’s golf championships

Click image to enlarge.

8:59 p.m.: The final update of the day includes the complete top end of the scoreboard. Alabama will carry a 4-stroke lead into the third round.

8:16 p.m. Alabama’s lead is still four stokes — five on any teams still on the course. Oklahoma (+11) is the closest team still on the course to the Tide (+4)

6:45 p.m.: The Alabama lead is now four strokes over Oklahoma. Live scoring is still found here.

6:22 p.m.: UCF is pulling an Auburn now. The former leaders now sit eight shots off Alabama’s lead. Oklahoma is second, three strokes behind the Tide.

6:04 p.m: Alabama’s lead is growing as they sit back and watch. The hot start for UCF is now turning extra sour. The Tide lead is now three strokes with the Golden Knights now 7-over par.

5:36 p.m.: The fast start is slowing down for Central Florida. The Golden Knights have fallen back into a first-place tie with Alabama at 4-over. UCF is still 2-under for the round.

5:03 p.m.: Alabama media relations just sent out a few comments from those involved in today’s play. Here’s a sampling:

Coach Jay Seawell:
“I feel really good about the round. I didn’t realize the golf course was playing that hard until I looked at a scoreboard on 14. I was really proud of the guys. I feel like they grinded out a nice round today, when it was easy not too.”

Sophomore Cory Whitsett:
“The pins were a little tougher today, but they were fair. You could get at them, you just have to hit a really quality shot. The lack of wind early helped me a lot, obviously, the wind picked up late in the round, but it always does here.”

4:52 p.m.: Oklahoma dropped off a little and UCF gave back a stroke. Bottom line: Alabama trails by two strokes long after its round ended. Oklahoma is one stroke behind the Tide at 5-over for the tournament.

4:26 p.m.: Alabama is two strokes behind co-leaders Central Florida and Oklahoma. Both are still very early in their second round. The Golden Knights are 4-under today while the Sooners are 3-under. Better scoring conditions in the afternoon it appears.

3:37 p.m.: Iowa and Central Florida are making moves now. Both are 4-under today and hold a two-stroke lead on Alabama. You can still click here if you want to follow the live leaderboard.

2:49 p.m: Alabama completed its round tied atop of the second-day scoreboard. The Tide led by as many as five strokes earlier in the day before finding trouble in the second nine holes.

Florida, who took the lead without touching a golf club this morning, just began its round.

2:18 p.m.: The Tide is one stroke off the lead as it enters the final few holes of its second round. Florida leads, but hasn’t seen the course yet today.

1:46 p.m.: Alabama fell out of the top spot as it reaches the end of its second round. The Tide is now tied for fourth at 6-over (4-over for the round). Justin Thomas had double bogey on the 14th hole.

1:26 p.m.: Just a quick update on Auburn … the Tigers went from a first-place tie to 28th in a matter of a few hours. Auburn is now 14-over par today and 18-over for the tournament. Alabama still leads by one stroke.

1:13 p.m.: Tide lead down to one stroke and is 2-over today.

1:03 p.m.: The Tide dropped one stroke to reach 2-over for the tournament and 1-over for the day. The lead is still two shots.

12:43 p.m.: Still not a whole lot of movement. Alabama still leads, but is back to even par for the round. The lead is still four strokes on the teams currently on the course.

12:23 p.m.: Alabama’s lead is up to four strokes after making the turn at 1-under par for the round. No team on the course is within five strokes of the Tide.

12:11 p.m.: Justin Thomas is now alone in the lead at 3-under. As the final Tide golfer makes the turn, Alabama is right where it started the day — 1-over par.

11:51 a.m.: Now Oregon is dropping back. Alabama maintains its lead at 2-over with the Ducks back at +6 as the top challenger on the course.

11:36 a.m.: Alabama’s Justin Thomas is still tied for the individual lead (-3). Oregon is now one stroke behind the leading Tide by shooting 4-under par so far today. Auburn is tied for 17th and nine strokes behind.

11:24 a.m.: Oregon is making the biggest move of the day. The Ducks are 3-under for the day and within two strokes of Alabama (+2). Florida is also hanging tight at 4-over watching from the clubhouse. The Gators won’t tee off until later today.

11:15 a.m.: Unless there’s a glitch in the scoring, Auburn has completely fallen off the map in the last 40 minutes. After tying Alabama for the lead, the Tigers are now 10 strokes off and tied for 16th. A double bogey and quadrupedal bogey seem to be the blame. See the scorecards here.

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Mal Moore to receive another award

The National Football Foundation just announced Alabama athletics director Mal Moore will receive another award this year. The former Tide assistant football coach will receive the John L. Toner Award for being an outstanding athletics director.

Here’s a taste of the NFF release just sent out …

“Mal’s leadership of Alabama football has been impeccable,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Crimson Tide’s success on the gridiron is undeniable, but his leadership can be felt throughout the University of Alabama and the NCAA as a whole. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

Moore has presided over Alabama athletics since 1999. His leadership has resulted in five NCAA team championships, 18 Southeastern Conference (SEC) team championships and numerous individual national and conference crowns for the Crimson Tide during his tenure. Moore’s commitment to excellence has also extended to the classroom as Alabama has had 62 Academic All-Americans under Moore’s leadership. Under Moore’s watch, Alabama has produced 18 NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship winners, 10 NCAA Top VIII selections, two Campbell Trophy finalists and three NCAA Woman of the Year finalists.

Moore currently manages a $101 million annual budget and a varsity sport program that consists of 21 men’s and women’s varsity teams. He envisioned and oversaw the expansion of Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2006 and 2009, pushing the venue’s capacity to 101,821, which ranks fifth nationally.

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Updates and live scoring from Alabama men’s golf team in NCAA championships

Click image to enlarge.

Update 7:58 p.m.: Alabama’s round is complete with Justin Thomas finishing last. The Tide has a three-stroke lead over SEC rivals Florida and Auburn.

The Gators and Tigers are both 4-over while Alabama is one stroke over par. A few teams remain on the course.

Here’s the final scoring for the five Tide golfers. Click the player’s name to see his scorecard.

T9 Justin Thomas -1
T13 Bobby Wyatt E
T13 Scott Strohmeyer E
T49 Hunter Hamrick  +2
T49 Cory Whitsett  +2

Update 7:43 p.m.: Both Auburn and UCLA dropped back. Alabama alone on top of leaderboard at 3-over. The SEC has the top three right now with Alabama leading and Florida and Auburn tied for second.

Update 7:36 p.m.: Alabama is tied with UCLA and Auburn with only a few golfers left on the course. All three are 3-over.

Update 7:06 p.m.: The Tide is part of a four-way tie atop the scoreboard with Washington, Stanford, and North Florida.  All four are 3-over par as the first Alabama golfers reach the 18th hole.

Update 6:46 p.m.: Alabama falls a stroke behind Stanford. Only Justin Thomas (-1) is under par for the Tide.

Update 6:40 p.m.: Alabama and Stanford are tied for the lead at 1-over par. Auburn is tied for sixth at 4-over.

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The top 10 video countdown begins today

Summer is officially here. Pools are open and vacations are on the horizon. So let’s use that opportunity to look back.

Since we don’t have the MTV Beach House anymore, there’s a serious lack of top 10 video countdowns. We’re going to fill that gap over the next 10 days with our version. Over the past three years, you guys have viewed our videos more than 2.5 million times. So why not count down the 10 most viewed?

We begin with No. 10, the Rammer Jammer after the Tide beat Florida in Gainesville last October. It’s been viewed 35,123 times so far.

 

Stay tuned for No. 9 tomorrow …

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SEC stockpiles titles, but does it have the most? Complete 2011-12 championship list

It’s been a big year for the SEC. It isn’t over yet, but the question is worth asking. Does the SEC rule the college sports world? The answer depends on how you measure it.

The Pac-12 schools have eight national championships, but that total includes two in water polo. Not many schools have programs, but it still counts.

SEC schools hold the two high profile titles with football (Alabama) and men’s basketball (Kentucky).

The Big Ten has five championships, but four came in sports with light participation (fencing, men’s gymnastics, wrestling, and women’s hockey). Not all of these sports were sponsored by the conference, but we’re just counting championships won by member institutions today.

Here’s the complete listing as it stands today. Enjoy.

Pac-12 (8)
Women’s water polo (USC)
Women’s volleyball (UCLA)
Women’s soccer (Stanford)
Women’s indoor track (Oregon)
Women’s swimming, diving (California)
Men’s swimming, diving (California)
Women’s water polo (Stanford)
Men’s tennis (USC)

SEC (6)
Football (Alabama)
Men’s indoor track (Florida)
Women’s gymnastics (Alabama)
Men’s basketball (Kentucky)
Women’s tennis (Florida)
Women’s golf (Alabama)

Big Ten (5)
Men’s cross country (Wisconsin)
Wrestling (Penn State)
Women’s hockey (Minnesota)
Men’s gymnastics (Illinois)
Fencing (Ohio State)

ACC (4)
Men’s soccer (North Carolina)
Field hockey (Maryland)
Men’s hockey (Boston College)
Rowing (Virginia)

Big East (1)
Women’s cross country (Georgetown)

Big 12 (1)
Women’s basketball (Baylor)

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Special report: SEC close to dominating another sport

(AP Photo/Tuscaloosa News, Michelle Lepianka Carter)

Good Sunday morning. One of the cool things about the Sunday paper is the extended space to write deeper stories. Here’s one I wrote today about softball’s place in the SEC hierarchy …

TUSCALOOSA— Kayla Braud didn’t grow up around here.

She’s from Pac-12 country – the softball promised land where national championships practically grow on trees. Still, the native Oregonian didn’t stick around when it was her turn for college glory.

Instead, she reversed traditional migration patterns to move 2,000 miles south and east to Tuscaloosa. Braud had bigger goals. Now as a junior on the Crimson Tide softball team, the star outfielder sits on the cusp of history.

No Southeastern Conference team has ever left the Women’s College World Series a champion. Not one in 20 combined appearances.

As the league currently holds seven national titles, the final frontier awaits this week in Oklahoma City. Alabama locked in its fourth trip in five years and eighth overall by sweeping Michigan in this week’s NCAA super regional.

At least two and as many as three SEC teams will make the trip this year, but No. 2 seed Alabama (55-7) carries the heaviest burden of expectations. It was a win away from playing for the title a year ago before conference rival Florida embarrassed the Tide. Consecutive losses by a combined score of 25-4 ended Alabama’s 53-11 season.

But this is a different team with a unique chemistry that’ll stare down those demons this week. A streak of eight straight wins has the Tide hotter than anyone in the country.

“I really think this is Alabama’s year,” said Jessica Mendoza, an Olympic gold medalist, ESPN commentator, and Stanford graduate. “I foresee them in that championship team and it’s going to be against a Pac-12 team, whether it’s Cal or Arizona State. It’s going to be another SEC/Pac-12 faceoff.”

In all, the Pac-12 has 23 national titles including 10 of the last 11. SEC teams reached the finals in three of the last five years before bowing to west coast competition.

But change is in the air.

Click here or here to read the complete story.

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Watch Alabama’s latest national championship team arrive home in Tuscaloosa

Here’s the grand welcome home celebration held this afternoon for the NCAA champion women’s golf team. Coach Mic Potter was there along with Stephanie Meadow, but three members went straight to the U.S. Open qualifier in North Carolina.

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Another celebration in title town

Another dunking after the softball super regional. (DBB photo)

And now, today’s story as you should have seen in today’s newspaper when you found it on your porch (Click here for video of the above celebration) …

TUSCALOOSA — It was hot Friday. Water was in short supply.

So a few Alabama softball players raided the other dugout to complete its postgame celebration. With a jug from the Michigan bench, the last Crimson Tide coach went home soggy in what’s becoming a familiar scene.

The 4-3 comeback win over Michigan in the NCAA super regionals sent Alabama to the Women’s College World Series for the fourth time in five years. Head coach Patrick Murphy took his ice-water bath while preparing for a live television interview. His assistants came next.

The 2,557 in Rhoads Stadium witnessed a scene similar to the one two weeks ago when No. 2 Alabama (55-7) took the SEC crown. This time, the bigger goal is within reach after sweeping Michigan in the best-of-three series.

“It’s huge. I think it’s portrayed that it’s not that hard to get there, but it’s very hard to get to the World Series,” Tide short stop fielder Kaila Hunt said.

She had quite a say in putting the team back in Oklahoma City for a Thursday opener with either Tennessee or Georgia.

Her two-run homer to left tied the game at 3 after Michigan appeared to have control. Scoring one in the first and two in the second, the Wolverines were hitting Tide pitcher Jackie Traina hard.

But Hunt’s blast changed the every dynamic in the game.

“The whole country will ask why I didn’t walk Kaila Hunt with a runner on first base,” Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said. “And I’ll spend the rest of the day wondering why I didn’t.”

That coaching decision led to another.

Click here to read the full story for no extra charge.

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Video of from the field as Alabama celebrates NCAA super regional

This was the scene on the field as Alabama celebrated its fourth trip to the College World Series in five years.The Tide beat Michigan 4-3 to clinch the super regional title.

 

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Alabama wins NCAA super regional title

Score: Alabama 4, Michigan 3. Final

  • Jackie Traina ended it with a strikeout.
  • Nothing for the Tide in the seventh. Heading to the final half inning.
  • Michigan goes down in order in the sixth. We head to the seventh.
  • Kendall Dawson led off with a single. Danielle Richard pinch ran for her. Sacrifice and stolen base put Richard in position for Kayla Braud’s triple to score her easily and give Alabama the 4-3 lead.
  • Traina got her second strike out of the day to end the fifth inning. Two frames left. Remember Michigan is the home team in this one.
  • Alabama had 2 on with 2 out before Courtney Conley popped out to the catcher.
  • Kaila Hunt ties the game at 3 with a homer to left. She was the hero last night, remember.
  • First 1-2-3 inning of the day for Michigan. Three innings left. Keep Traina in or save her for potential deciding Game 3?
  • Jackie Traina stepped in as a pinch hitter with 2 outs and 2 on, but grounded out to the short stop.
  • Michigan making solid contact all day. Tide pitcher Jackie Traina got first strikeout of the game in the third inning. She had 10 last night.
  • Kaila Hunt was hit by a pitch with two outs. Coaches took a look at her sore hand, but she stayed in the game. Tide still has just one hit.
  • Michigan scores another 2-out run with slow single up the middle. Wolverines take the lead on RBI single with two outs. Error allowed go-ahead run to reach second on previous at-bat. Tide has two errors this inning.
  • Catcher Kendall Dawson’s sac fly scored Jazlyn Lunceford. Alabama has runners on first and second, no out in second.
  • Michigan takes the lead on a homer to left crushed by Amanda Chidester.
  • The Tide has  had runners on first and second with one out and Amanda Locke stepping to the plate. (Locke hit into an inning-ending double play) Continue reading

Alabama wins national title

You can click here to follow the team leaderboard as Alabama tees off with a 2-stroke lead in the final round of the NCAA women’s golf championship. And now, some commentary to be updated as warranted …

  • (6:20 p.m.) Alabama wins first women’s golf national championship in school history.
  • (6:03 p.m.) Alabama lead down to one stroke. One group left on the course.
  • (5:44 p.m.) Alabama lead now 4.
  • (5:41 p.m.) Tide lead now back to three. Two holes left final group.
  • (5:39 p.m.) Alabama lead down to two strokes. Only three holes left for last group on course.
  • (5:29 p.m.) Alabama lead now four stokes with three holes left for final group.
  • (5:13 p.m.) Alabama lead now at two strokes (+17 to +19 for USC). Last group has three holes left. Brooke Pancake is in second, two strokes off lead for individual medalist.
  • (5:02 p.m.) Alabama takes a 1-stroke lead on USC. Last group has four holes left.
  • (4:49 p.m.) Now a 2-stroke USC lead.
  • (4:48 p.m.) Six holes left for the last group and Alabama trails by three strokes.
  • (4:37 p.m.) Tide back within three strokes. LSU making late charge, only two behind Alabama.
  • (4:26 p.m.) Alabama falls five strokes behind USC. See live scoring link above.
  • (4:12 p.m.) Tied at 15-over.
  • (3:58 p.m.) Tide still up 1. Last group has 10 holes left.
  • (3:51 p.m.) Alabama up 1. Jennifer Kirby keeping Tide in it (-3 today).
  • (3:44 p.m.) Tied.
  • (3:39 p.m.) Alabama leads by 1.
  • (3:33 p.m.) Tied again. A pattern is developing.
  • (3:21 p.m.) Alabama slips to second place.
  • (3:16 p.m.) The Tide takes a 1-stroke lead over USC. Brooke Pancake is tied for third at 2-under for the tournament.
  • (3:01 p.m.) Alabama and USC are tied +16.
  • (2:54 p.m.) Alabama’s lead is down to one stroke as the first players make the turn. Only one Tide golfer (Jennifer Kirby) is under par today.
  • (2:04 p.m.) The Tide is 4-over early in the round. Meadow has three bogeys in three holes.
  • (1:51 p.m.) Stephanie Meadow opened the final round bogey-bogey. Alabama still holds two-stoke lead over USC.
  • (1:35 p.m.)  Lead back down to two strokes with final players still waiting to tee off.
  • Alabama’s Courtney McKim birdied the first hole played by the Tide today. That put Alabama up three strokes.

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Alabama takes Round 1 with Michigan

(AP Photo/Tuscaloosa News, Michelle Lepianka Carter)

Today’s print story about Alabama’s softball win last night in the NCAA super regionals …

TUSCALOOSA — They packed every seat, railing and patch of outfield grass.

The crowd 2,475 at Rhoads Stadium on Thursday evening saw the softball prequel to the highly-anticipated Alabama-Michigan football season opener.

What they witnessed started as the softball equivalent of three yards and a cloud of dust, but ended with a little SEC speed. Alabama’s big fifth inning pushed the second-ranked Tide within a game of the Women’s College World Series with a 4-1 win.

The NCAA super regional beating was slow and lumbering until Kaila Hunt stepped to the plate with two runners on and one out in the fifth.

“It’s not pressure, I wouldn’t say, because if you get caught up in the pressure, you’re not going to perform,” Hunt said.

Her two-run double slapped to left gave Alabama (54-7) all the offense it needed with Jackie Traina pitching.

Click here for the full version at no extra charge.

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