Alabama Softball Ranked Third In Pre-Season

It would be a surprise if Alabama softball was not ranked among the nation’s leaders, and so it was expected the Crimson Tide would get high marks when the fpre-season poll of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association was announced. Bama was third in the poll, the highest ranking for the Tide since Alabama entered the 2013 season ranked number one. That followed Bama’s 2012 national championship.

Alabama traditionally plays a demanding schedule, and this year is no exception. Nine ranked opponents are on the 2015 Crimson Tide schedule, including out-of-conference matchups against South Alabama (23), Michigan (8) and Louisiana-Lafayette (9). Ranked SEC opponents on the schedule include Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn and Texas A&M.

Defending national champion Florida claimed the top spot, receiving 20 of 29 possible first-place votes, while Oregon, Oklahoma and Florida State round out the rest of the top five. Nine SEC schools are ranked in the Top 25, which is the most of any conference. Other ranked SEC schools besides Florida and Alabama include Kentucky (6), Georgia (12), Tennessee (13), Missouri (17), LSU (19), Auburn (20) and Texas A&M (24). South Carolina is also receiving votes just outside the top 25.

Alabama finished the 2014 season with a 53-13 record, marking the eighth time in the last nine years the Tide have won over 50 games. The Tide also made its ninth WCWS appearance, winning three games before falling to Florida in the championship series. Alabama went 19-5 in conference play, winning its fifth SEC regular season championship, the third in the last four years.

The Tide return 13 players from last year’s team, including seniors Chaunsey Bell, Danae Hays, Leslie Jury, Danielle Richard and Jadyn Spencer.

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