Ideally, Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban would throw out the first pitch Tuesday when the Crimson Tide softball team hosts Saban’s alma mater, Kent State, at 6 p.m. CDT at Rhoads Stadium.
More ideally, is that Alabama won’t need any mojo to handle the Golden Flashes. The embarassing 14-0 loss the Crimson Tide suffered at the hands of South Carolina last weekend notwithstanding, Bama is 30-4 this year and ranked in the nation’s top ten. Kent State is 10-15. Alabama is 21-1 in Tuscaloosa this season.
Saban may or may not take in a portion of the softball game, but at 6 p.m. he’ll just be finishing up conducting his team’s fourth practice of the spring. (Anyway, can you imagine anyone less likely to throw like a girl than Saban?)
In any event, there will be a noteworthy coach on hand for Tuesday night’s game. Crimson Tide Coach Patrick Murphy is one win shy of his 1,000th career coaching victory after Bama took two of three from South Carolina last weekend. His career record is 999-279, a winning percentage of 78.2. Major college softball has 22 coaches in history who have reached the 1,000-win mark.
Tuesday’s contest against Kent State ends a quick four-game home stand before the Tide plays its next four games away from Rhoads Stadium. Alabama is just two wins shy of its 500th at Rhoads Stadium, the Tide’s home field since 2000. Bama, 7-2 in Southeastern Conference play, will be at Arkansas this weekend.
The Tide leads the SEC in strikeouts (321) and wins (30) and is second in opposing batting average (.160) and hits allowed (125). In conference-only games, Alabama is ranked first in hits (63) and wins (7), second in batting average (.290), on base percentage (.391), walks (34), stolen bases (10), and strikeouts (62) and third in runs scored (44).