MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - For the first time in school history, the South Alabama Jaguar softball team has won back-to-back Sun Belt Conference titles and is now hosting the NCAA Regional Tournament. For this young team, the story is like a scene from a movie.
The seven-year-old South Alabama Jaguar softball team has been confident they would reach this point.
"It's something we've worked for all year so finally having all our hard work pay off means the world to all of us," said sophomore catcher Alex Breeden.
Now, the stage is set to host the NCAA Regional Tournament at home: Jaguar Field.
"You watch TV all your life and think, 'Man, I want to be that one day.' And for dreams to come true, it's awesome," said sophomore outfielder Blair Johnson.
Preparations to Jaguar Field are being made to accompany the NCAA regional tournament. An auxiliary press box and added bleachers are in for the Jaguars' game this Friday night against Mississippi Valley State.
Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann said credit is due where credit is deserved.
"What this is saying at this point in time, is this is the thirteenth best program in the nation out of 300 teams, and that in and of itself speaks volumes and to the good hard work of Coach Clark and everyone in the program," said Erdmann.
Head Coach Becky Clark is thrilled to host the tournament and pleased at the focus her team has maintained throughout the season to reach this point.
"When you stop and let it all sink in, it's all really surreal. What these young ladies have been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time, is a huge testament to the work that they've put in and the way they go about her business," said Clark.
For future recruiting classes to come, having two back-to-back conference championships under the Jaguars' belt won't hurt at all.
"When student athletes are trying to choose a school, they know that South Alabama is going to be playing for championships," said Clark.
The Jaguars open the NCAA Regional Tournament this Friday night, May 17 at 6 p.m. as they face Southeastern Athletic Conference champions, Mississippi Valley State.
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