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Alabama Crimson Tide Softball Season Begins on Friday

There's gonna be a whole lotta high-fivin' this spring.
There's gonna be a whole lotta high-fivin' this spring.

End of an era. When Alabama Softball takes the field on Friday, they will be without one of the all-time greats in the game. Four-time All-American and three-time Academic All-American centerfielder Haylie McCleney has moved on. Also gone are slugging first baseman Leona Lafaele, and outfielders Andrea Hawkins and Kallie Case.

But this team has plenty of star power returning, anchored by ace pitchers junior Alexis Osorio and senior Sydney Littlejohn. Demi Turner (.421 BA) and Chandler Dare (.386) should be at the top of the order. Supplying the power will be Reagan Dykes (11 HR, 41 RBI), Marisa Runyon (9, 41), and Peyton Grantham (7, 38).


The Crimson Tide has been given a #7 preseason ranking by both USA Today/NFCA Poll and the Softball Poll. Alabama was listed third in Preseason SEC Coaches' Poll just behind Florida and Auburn.

2017 Softball Roster:

Name Pos. Class B/T Ht. Hometown / High School
1 Elissa Brown UTIL Fr. L/R 5-3 Eclectic, Ala. / Elmore County HS
2 Demi Turner IF Jr. L/R 5-4 Huntsville, Texas / Huntsville HS
3 Peyton Grantham IF Jr. R/R 5-5 Daphne, Ala. / Daphne HS
4 Rachel Bobo OF Jr. L/R 5-3 Seabrook, Texas / Clear Falls HS
5 Chandler Dare UTIL Sr. L/R 5-3 Tuscaloosa, Ala. / American Christian Academy
6 Sydney Booker IF Jr. R/R 5-7 Madison, Ala. / Bob Jones
7 Merris Schroder OF So. L/R 5-5 Houston, Texas / Cy-Fair
9 Marisa Runyon IF Sr. L/R 5-0 Myrtle Beach, S.C. / Carolina Forest HS
10 Mari Cranek OF So. L/R 5-5 Needville, Texas / Needville
15 Gabby Callaway OF Fr. L/R 5-8 San Diego, Calif. / Poway HS
16 Bailey Hemphill UTIL Fr. R/R 5-8 Lafayette, La. / St. Thomas More
20 Carrigan Fain C Jr. R/R 5-8 Mt. Olive, Ala. / Gardendale HS
25 Madi Moore LHP So. L/L 5-8 Winfield, Ala. / Winfield
27 Alexis Osorio RHP Jr. R/R 5-8 Riverside, Calif. / King HS
28 Sydney Littlejohn RHP Sr. R/R 6-1 Rusk, Texas / Rusk HS
33 Claire Jenkins IF Fr. R/R 5-9 Cullman, Ala. / Cullman HS
34 Caroline Hardy UTIL So. R/R 5-8 Vestavia Hills, Ala. / Vestavia Hills
54 Reagan Dykes C So. R/R 5-6 Collins, Miss. / Presbyterian Christian

Softball Staff:

Patrick Murphy Head Coach
Alyson Habetz Associate Head Coach
Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro Assistant Coach - recently married to Tyrone's brother (or cousin, I am not sure).
Kate Harris Director of Operations
Adam Arbour Volunteer Assistant Coach


Bailey Hemphill UTIL - top-rated prep catcher on the FloSoftball Hot 100; also played basketball and volleyball in high school.
Claire Jenkins IF - 2016 6A All-State Hitter of the Year, two-time area Player of the Year (2015-16).
Elissa Brown UTIL - chosen for Team USA Junior National Training Team. Also played basketball, where she was the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,947 points. Won regional titles in the 100- and 200-meter dash with the track and field team.
Gabby Callaway OF - Two-time All-CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) for 2015-16. FloSoftball Hot 100. Born and raised in Mobile until moving to Southern California before her sophomore year of high school.

Opening Weekend:

The Crimson Tide opens the season in Conway, SC at the Kickin' Chicken Classic (insert Brandon Chicken joke here).

  • FRI vs Towson - W 17-0 (5 innings) Sydney Littlejohn throws a 3-hit shutout; Five home runs for Bama.
  • FRI at Coastal Carolina - W 6-0 Alexis Osorio pitches a perfect game striking out 19 of the 21 batters she faced. Freshman Bailey Hemphill hits her second dinger in as many games.
  • SAT vs Towson - W 4-2 Bama's third pitcher Madi Moore gave up a couple of runs. Osorio relieved her for a 4.2 inning, 6 K, no-hit win. Her perfection streak is now at 11.2 innings. Five different Tide players stole a base.
  • SAT vs Youngstown State - W 7-0 Littlejohn with a one-hit 7-inning shutout. Merris Schroder had a 2 RBI triple, single, stolen base and two runs scored.
  • SUN at Coastal Carolina - W 9-3 Hemphill and Booker both with 2-run dingers. Moore goes the distance.

* Alabama's home opener is Feb. 15 against South Alabama at 5pm CT.

[All games can be heard in T-town on 93.3 FM.]