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Wednesday, May 9, 2012
This SEC championship is extra sweet

By Kayla Braud and Ryan Iamurri

Alabama celebration
TBD BY EDITORIAL

A lot of people didn’t believe in us. Not one coach voted for us to win the SEC, but we sit here on a flight to New York, champions. Alabama softball won its third SEC regular-season championship in a row and fourth overall. And what makes it even sweeter is that we did it when not a lot of people believed we could.

We entered the weekend with great expectations and high hopes, but, unfortunately, we did not play our best in the first game of the series against Florida. Friday night’s loss hit us pretty hard. When you’re playing a team as great as the Gators, you have to take advantage of opportunities instead of letting them slip through your fingers.

Saturday when our backs were against the wall, we came together and realized that we had something much bigger to fight for. We wanted to win it for our coaches, our fans and each other. We had a title to defend. To say the least, we came out on fire. A refuse-to-lose mentality took over each member of the team and drove us into Sunday afternoon. No one embodied that mentality more than Jackie Traina, who threw more than 350 pitches on the weekend and carried us to victory.

Alabama softball has had many reasons to celebrate over the years, and when we celebrate we definitely do it right. If you have ever watched us play, or seen us on ESPN, you would know that we celebrate the little things in a big way. From partying at the plate after home runs to praising sacrifice bunts, nothing is sweeter than celebrating with your team. No matter who the hero is that day, we celebrate for each of our teammates the same as if we had done it ourselves. Together we have realized how special these four years of our lives are and how fast they fly by. Why not make the most of it?

Roll Tide.

Sneak peak for next week: Inside look at the Alabama softball battery.