Crimson Tide softball kicks off their 27th season at Alabama with many new faces and some old. Let’s hope this marriage of old and new can produce positive results.
Many familiar faces are back for another season of Alabama softball.
- Head coach Patrick Murphy and his Gut® are back.
- By his side once again is his will-they-or-won’t-they assistant coach/cheerleader Alyson Habetz.
- Team27 has Montana Fouts, Ally Shipman, and Ashley Prange all back for super-senior seasons. The NCAA made a huge mistake giving an extra seasons to football players despite them completing a full season. But softball players deserve it since they were cut down after only 22 games in 2020.
- Also back are Jenna Johnson, Bailey Dowling, Kat Grill, Kali Heivilin, Jordan Stephens, Aubrey Barnhart, KJ Haney, Jaala Torrence, and Alex Salter.
Perhaps some fresh faces can wipe away the failures of last season.
- Lance McMahon replaces Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro as pitching coach.
- Murphy signed five freshmen: Larissa Preuitt, Abby Duchscherer, Kenleigh Cahalan, Marlie Giles, and Kristen White. Preuitt and Duchscherer have excellent chances at starting.
While technically not “borrowed”, Alabama has acquired a few players from other schools:
- Reigning MAC MVP Faith Hensley (Ball State), experimental pitcher Lauren Esman (Michigan), and Emma Broadfoot (North Alabama).
By “blue” we are referring to the umpires and new rules.
- The Experimental Double First Base - The picture above pretty much tells the story. This optional rule is meant to cut down on collisions as well as players stepping on each other on close plays at first. Murphy has long been a proponent of the double first base, a stance which was magnified when the Tide’s Bailey Dowling tore an ACL in an incident in 2021. However, there has been no word out of Tuscaloosa as to whether Alabama might try it out this season. Another bang up job by our local media. Both teams will have to agree to its use during a game.
- Fence Padding - The NCAA panel approved a requirement that all sideline and home run fences constructed of wood, concrete or brick be padded by Jan. 1, 2027. This rule is unfortunate for parks like Louisiana-Lafayette’s Lamson Park which is famous for its iconic brick sideline walls and wood “picket fence” outfield wall. Rhoads Stadium already complies. It will be interesting to see what other SEC stadiums look like.
The Crimson Tide starts off the season at home against the mighty Lehigh Purple Peonies or some such thing on Friday. I think the UA Athletics Dept may have finally heard our outcries because all four games this weekend will be available on SEC Network+.
I have been told by Alabama Softball SID Nathan Sheehan: “Any home games not on linear TV will be streamed on SEC+. Video links for opening weekend are already up on the schedule page at https://rolltide.com/sports/softball/schedule.”
- Friday, Feb 10 vs Lehigh 3:30 p.m. CT
- Friday, Feb 10 vs Georgia Southern 6 p.m. CT
- Saturday, Feb 11 vs Georgia Southern 1:30 p.m. CT
- Saturday, Feb 11 vs Lehigh 4 p.m. CT
This poll is closed
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