Press Release from Alcorn State Sports
For the second year in a row, the Alcorn State University softball program will be the top seed from the SWAC East Division at the SWAC Championships.
The Lady Braves will face Southern, the No. 4 seed from the SWAC West Division, in the first round Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Montgomery, Alabama.
"Man, when you look at the youth on this roster and the fact we've had some unexpected departures within the program the last two years, it's a great accomplishment for us. It's a regular season goal for us each year and I am happy to see us reach it. You're fighting off some quality teams within our division and it was a little stressful waiting to see the outcome of those games today," said Alcorn head coach Josef Rankin.
Alcorn earned the No. 1 seed from the SWAC East after holding the tiebreaker over Alabama A&M. The Lady Braves and the Bulldogs both finished 11-7 in conference, but Alcorn swept AAMU in a three-game series on April 20-21.
The Lady Braves also finished a game above preseason favorite Alabama State which ended 10-8. Alcorn took two out of three from the Hornets this year.
"It takes a whole group. From administration, to families, to Ms. San (Sandra Little), Ms. Michele (Johnson), facilities, just anyone who has made a contribution to what we are trying to do," Rankin said.
Alcorn will seek redemption against Southern. The two teams met in the first round of the SWAC Championships last year, but the Jags were able to pull out a 4-3 upset. However, the Lady Braves won two out of three from Southern on the road this season on March 23-24.
"We are going to enjoy this, but we have to start preparing to work hard for Wednesday at 6 p.m. and find a way to take care of game one. We didn't play well here a year ago, but it's got to be about redemption and play our game and see what happens," Rankin said.
It marks the fifth title in program history and the first in back-to-back years. Alcorn won the division and the conference tournament in 1997, and the conference tournament in 2010.
The Lady Braves are 24-14 SWAC the last two seasons and 35-18 SWAC the last three seasons; both records are the best in the SWAC East Division. Alcorn has posted three consecutive winning seasons in conference for the first time in program history.
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