Tide Softball Has Another Road Show

The Alabama softball team has played five games on the road, winning all five contests in last week's Troy Invitational. This weekend the Crimson Tide is in Tucson to play five games in Arizona's Hillenbrand Invitational. Those games are important. But it's hard not to look ahead to Bama's home schedule and the Bama Bash that begins on Feb. 21.

That's because Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy started this season with 789 wins. He moved up to 794 at Troy and has the opportunity to get closer to the 800 mark with five games in Tucson, beginning with Grand Canyon on Friday.

After the first weekend of this year's softball season, there are only 14 active Division I head coaches with at least 800 wins at their current school. Murphy is in his 16th season at Alabama. All of the other 13 have at least 20 years at their schools and a couple have as many as 35.

Compared to the other 14 coaches, Murphy has the highest wins-per-season average with 52.6. The only other one with an average of over 50 wins per season is Arizona's Mike Candrea, who has been with the Wildcats for 27 years and has a national best 1,346 wins – an average of 51.65 per year.

Murphy and Alabama will play against Candrea and Arizona on the final two days of this weekend's tournament.

Following the opener against Grand Canyon, Bama will meet Tennessee State Friday night, New Mexico and 24th ranked Arizona Saturday, and close out with another game against the Wildcats on Sunday.

The Bama Bash at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa will have the Tide again playing five games in three days. On Friday, Feb. 21, Alabama plays Virginia Tech (4 p.m. CST) and UCF (6 p.m.). On Saturday, the Tide will play Virginia Tech (1:30 p.m.) and UCF (4 p.m.) again before concluding tournament action on Sunday, Feb. 23 against McNeese State (1:30 p.m.).

Alabama has moved up to fourth in the nation in this week's USA Today/NFCA poll. The Tide is sixth in the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25.

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