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Alabama Softball: The Quest For Two Starts Today

The Alabama softball teams begins its defense of their National Title today against UNI.

Kevyn Bryant II

Today the Alabama softball team will attempt to follow in the footsteps of the Crimson Tide football team and begin its own quest of repeating as NCAA National Champions.

"We've tasted it and I think everyone wants to go back again," senior outfielder Kayla Braud said. "Everybody has a great drive to do the same thing, work hard and come out every single day with an attitude that we want it just as bad as we did last year."

For the fourth consecutive year Alabama was picked by SEC coaches to win the SEC regular season. This is no real surprise given the depth and the amount of leadership that returns from last year's National Title team.

"The depth, again, is probably going to be our biggest strength," Murphy said. "We have two kids at every position that can start for probably eighty percent of Division I softball. That doesn't happen very often."

That sounds familiar, doesn't it?

The addition of junior-college transfers catcher Molly Fichtner and outfielder Haylie McCleney will certainly help soften the blow of losing the experience of Cassie Reilly-Boccia, Jennifer Fenton, and ace Amanda Locke. Alabama also had three members placed on the pre-season all- SEC team. Junior shortstop Kaila Huntand, senior outfielder Kayla Braud, and junior pitcher Jackie Traina, last season's SEC pitcher of the year, will be anchors on an already loaded 18 deep roster.

"This is the most competitive team I think we've ever had," Murphy said. "It stems from having Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson on the (football) team. If you don't push it and play hard, you're going to get run over. They all know that." Team Previews

Infield preview

Outfield preview

Batting Lineup preview

Other Links

2013 team roster

Video: Coach Murphy.

Video: Kayla Braud, Kaila Hunt preview Alabama softball's 2013 season

First pitch is slated for 3 pm CT