Oct. 2, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama softball begins its fall season this weekend with a doubleheader in Murfreesboro, Tenn., against Middle Tennessee State on Sunday, Oct. 4. First pitch for game one is set for 11:30 a.m. CT with game two beginning 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.
“With such a big group of newcomers, I’d prefer to go on the road at least once in the fall,” said Head Coach Patrick Murphy, who enters his 18th season at the helm of the program this year. “We’re very happy to make the trip. We’re paying back Middle Tennessee State a bit as well since they’ve come to our place multiple times in the fall before.”
Alabama will play four more opponents over the month of October at Rhoads Stadium, starting with Western Kentucky and Mobile on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. The Tide follow with a doubleheader against West Alabama on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 1:30 p.m. and conclude the fall season one week later with a doubleheader against Shorter College on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1:30 p.m.
“The fall season gives us a great opportunity to play around with the lineup since none of these games count,” said Murphy. “I want to see what different players do in different situations. We know what a lot of our older players can do, but I’m really excited to see what our newcomers do and I think the rest of the team is as well.”
The Crimson Tide returns 12 players from last season’s Women’s College World Series team while welcoming seven newcomers, its largest incoming class since 2006. Alabama returns all four of its All-Americans from last season in senior outfield Haylie McCleney, junior infielder Marisa Runyon, sophomore pitcher Alexis Osorio and sophomore infielder Demi Turner.
This season marks the 20th anniversary of Alabama softball, as the Crimson Tide first took the field in the spring of 1997. Since then, Alabama has won five SEC regular season titles, five SEC Tournament titles, made 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and 10 Women’s College World Series appearances, including the SEC’s first national championship in the sport in 2012. Since 1997, Alabama owns a 968-288 (.771) all-time record, including an 890-241 (.787) mark under Patrick Murphy, who was promoted to head coach prior to the 1999 season. Alabama has made the NCAA Tournament every season under Murphy.