TUSCALOOSA, AL -
They're the top seed and the top target. Alabama softball heads into the SEC Tournament as one of the teams everyone in the league is gunning for. For freshman pitcher Sydney Littlejohn, it was an interesting adjustment.
"Coming in you say, 'Oh, it will be fun,'" Littlejohn said. "It has been a great ride. But now being able to experience that everyone wants to beat you, it's a new type of game."
"When you first commit here, you know you're going to be the team everyone is out to get," Alabama outfielder Kallie Case said. "It's just cause of the 'Alabama' across your chest, no matter the success that you have or not."
So who will Alabama play in their first SEC Tournament game on Thursday night? It will either be South Carolina, the host school. Alabama defeated South Carolina in all three of their meetings this season. Or it will be Alabama's top rival: The Auburn Tigers. Bama and Auburn played only once this season in Montgomery and the Tigers came away with the victory.
"I think out of all of the matchups, this is probably the worst," Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. "That's a tough draw. They're both going to be fired up. The crowd is going to be against you if you play South Carolina and it's going to be a big, big game if we play Auburn. Either way, it's going to be a fun night. It's the last game of the day which is also cool. We're looking forward to it."
It's never an easy road to an SEC Tournament championship.