By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
— Former Mortimer Jordan standout Haylie McCleney had quite the debut with the Alabama Crimson Tide softball team last week.
The freshman outfielder batted .722 (13-for-18) with nine runs, four RBI, two doubles, a triple, two home runs, two walks and five stolen bases in five games at the UNI-Dome Classic at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids.
For that effort, McCleney was named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.
McCleney reached base three or more times in each contest and had three hits in four of the five games. She also scored at least one run every game and stole one base or more in four of the games on top of playing stellar defense.
In the win against Drake, the rookie batted 3-for-4, with an inside-the-park home run, a triple, scored twice and drove in two. Against North Dakota State, McCleney went 3-for-3, scored three runs, hit a double and a home run and stole a base.
The Tide won all five games at the tournament, held in one of the few indoor college softball venues in the nation.
Two of her former Jordan teammates also had good opening weeks. Tide sophomore second baseman Danae Hays was 4-for-7 in four games, hitting a home run and a double with three runs batted in.
And for the Tide's arch-rivals, Morgan Estell returned to the Auburn lineup as a redshirt sophomore, and went 7-for-14 in five games of the Plainsman Invitational tournament. She hit a triple and a double, and scored 10 runs. Estell, whose 2012 season ended prematurely due to an injury, was named to the SEC pre-season all-conference team two weeks ago.