South Alabama hosting Mardi Gras Classic

Jags kicking off ten game home stretch
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 10:50 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - South Alabama softball opened their season in Clearwater, Florida last weekend in the Clearwater leadoff classic.

Today the team is gearing up to host the Mardi Gras classic this weekend at Jaguar field for their first home games of 2023.

The Jags will start things off with a doubleheader on Friday against the Missouri State and Mississippi Valley State. Saturday they’ll face Missouri State and Rutgers before wrapping things up on Sunday with a single game against the Scarlet Knights.

With this being the first home appearance for the 2023 South Alabama team, nerves are inevitable, but senior third baseman Meredith Keel says they’re only good ones.

“I wouldn’t say I get nervous. I think a little bit of nerves is a good thing though. It’s more of an excitement like butterflies and then once that first pitch hits, it’s like its game time.”

South Alabama sits at 3rd in the 2023 Sun Belt Conference preseason coaches’ poll. They also snagged a couple of preseason honors with right-handed pitcher Olivia Lackie and outfielder Mackenzie Brasher being selected as part of the preseason All Sun Belt team.

The Jags are 1-3 coming into this weekend and even though the season didn’t get started how they might have hoped, the team is not discouraged.

Head Coach Becky Clark says the mindset this season is to finish strong.

“You know, obviously the goal every year is to win a conference championship. You want to be playing in a regional and I think for us as a program right now we’re in that place of you know, we’ve gotten to a regional but we haven’t gotten past our regional so what does it take to get into that super, so I think that’s kind of where our mindset is.”

This tournament is the first of two this spring for the Jaguars and begins a home game stretch in which South will play 10 of its next 11 games at Jaguar field.

As they continue to fight the weather and prepare for this weekend, Keel will have one thing on her mind as she plays in her final season.

“OKC of course. That’s the goal always. I would say a smaller goal from that was obviously winning conference. We want to ring and then we want to go compete in late postseason.”

First pitch against Missouri State is set for Friday at 12:30PM.


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