Among those returning to Coach Patrick Murphy’s usually strong Alabama softball team were a unanimous All-Southeastern Conference and two-time All-America selection and a pitcher who was SEC Freshman of the Year last season. When the SEC coaches selected their preseason all-conference team it was no surprise to see these Crimson Tide stars included.
Alabama senior Haylie McCleney and sophomore Alexis Osorio represent the Tide on the Preseason All-SEC softball team.
Alabama is one of four SEC teams to place multiple selections on the list. Eleven of the 14 on the 2016 preseason team are seniors, with just one junior and two sophomores rounding out the roster. McCleney and Osorio were named All-SEC at the end of last season, with Osorio honored as the league’s Freshman of the Year and McCleney as its Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
In conference play last season, Osorio led the SEC with a 1.60 ERA and 109 strikeouts over 91.2 innings pitched. Eight of her 10 conference wins came against ranked opponents, with five of those against top-10 teams. In addition to being named the SEC Freshman of the Year, she was a second team NFCA All-America and a top three finalist for the NFCA Freshman of the Year award.
McCleney, who enters her senior season as the Alabama career batting average leader, was second in the league last year with a .436 average. She led the league in walks (61) and on-base percentage (.588) while fifth in runs scored (69) and sixth in doubles (14). McCleney earned her third All-America citation in 2015, her second as a first team honoree, while also taking home first team Academic All-America honors for a second-straight season. She was named the Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for Division-I softball.