So you'll probably never be a champion. But the defending Southeastern Conference champion Alabama Softball team held its first team practice of the spring semester on Saturday, preparing for the start of the 2015 season which is less than four weeks away.
Full disclosure: Bama has an indoor practice facility for softball.
The four-hour practice began with indoor hitting drills before the team moved outside to brave the cold weather to work on team defense. Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy, entering his 17th season at the helm of the program in 2015, said that fundamentals would be the key focus this early in the season.
“It’s been since late November that we’ve been together as a team," he said. "We had Thanksgiving break, finals, and Christmas break, and now it’s Jan. 10. We’ll have about two weeks of fundamentals where we do hitting circuits the first part of practice. Hopefully when the weather starts warming up we go outside and do some defensive work.”
The Crimson Tide is preparing for a challenging schedule that begins on Thursday, Feb. 5 in Mobile against the South Alabama Jaguars, a rematch of last season’s NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional title game. That weekend, Alabama will compete in the Sand Dollar Classic at the Sportsplex in Gulf Shores.
“We’ll be playing at one of the best softball complexes in the state at the Gulf Shores Sportsplex,” said Murphy. “All of our fans and alumni in south Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and south Georgia can come over and watch us.”
The full 2015 schedule includes 14 teams that qualified for the 2014 NCAA Tournament and six Super Regional teams, including Women’s College World Series participants Louisiana-Lafayette, Kentucky, and defending national champion Florida. Eleven teams on the 2015 schedule were ranked or were receiving votes in the final 2014 NFCA Top 25 Poll.
Limited numbers of Brickyard season tickets are still available for purchase online at rolltide.com/tickets or by calling (205) 348-BAMA. Single game tickets will go on sale on Monday, Feb. 2.