The University of Arkansas softball team will makes the program’s eighth trip to the 2010 SEC Softball Tournament when the league championship begins at Bogle Park on Thursday.
This will be the first appearance in the SEC Tournament for Arkansas under head coach Mike Larabee. In seven previous appearances, the Razorbacks hold a 9-12 record in tournament play. Prior to the 2006 season, the SEC Tournament was double elimination.The back-to-back appearances in the tournament for the Razorbacks are the first for the program since it qualified for the tournament in 2001 and 2002.
Arkansas will play the final game on Thursday’s opening day of the tournament. The Razorbacks will take on No. 1 seed Alabama in the nightcap at 6:30 p.m.
"We are excited to be playing at home at Bogle Park," Arkansas coach Mike Larabee said. "To be able to showcase this facility on ESPNU and ESPN to the rest of the country is very exciting. I know I am a little biased but I think it is the best softball facility in the country."
The game will be broadcast on ESPNU with play-by-play provided by Beth Mowins with analysts Jessica Mendoza and Michele Smith.Arkansas and Alabama also faced off in the opening round of last season’s SEC Tournament. This is the fifth time the Crimson Tide and the Razorbacks will play in the conference tournament.
Arkansas and Alabama have met four previous times in SEC Tournament play. The Razorbacks won the first of those contest with a 3-2 victory in the 1999 event. That season, Arkansas advanced to the championship game and finished as runner-up to LSU. Alabama won the other three meetings, a 2-0 victory in 2001, a 2-1 triumph in 2002 and an 8-0 win in 2009.
In second appearance in the SEC Tournament, Arkansas advanced through the losers’ bracket to play in the championship game against then No.7-ranked LSU. The Razorbacks and the Tigers went back-and-forth in a 10-inning game, which LSU edged out Arkansas for a 4-3 victory. Tbe game marks the farthest the Razorbacks have advanced into the league tournament.
Other first-round action includes No. 3 seed LSU taking on No. 6 seed in the opening game of the tournament at 11 a.m. Thursday morning. The session wraps with a 1:30 game between No. 2 seed Florida and No. 7 seed Auburn. No. 4 seed Georgia and No. 5 seed Tennessee will face off at 4:00 p.m., prior to the Razorbacks first game.
For other information regarding the 2010 SEC Softball Tournament at Bogle Park, please visit the SEC Tournament Central website.