Alabama Athletics

Alabama pitching has kept softball ranked high in polls

Patrick Murphy has set the bar high with longtime success as Alabama softball coach

There are nearly 300 college softball teams, and to hear the moaning and groaning about Alabama’s hitting woes one might conclude that this is a dismal season for the Crimson Tide. The issue is at least two-part: One, Alabama has all-world pitching that too often hasn’t gotten the offensive support it needs. Two, Bama Coach Patrick Murphy’s great success has set the bar high.
With two weeks remaining in the 2017 regular season, Alabama softball is ranked No. 13 in the latest USA Today/NFCA poll and No. 14 in the Softball poll. Alabama is also ranked No. 14 in the NCAA RPI for the second-straight week. The RPI ranking, which includes strength of schedule, is important in NCAA Tournament seeding.
The Crimson Tide dropped one spot in the NFCA poll and two spots in the USA Softball poll from last week following a pair of losses to Washington, who is ranked No. 8/9 this week. No new teams entered or fell from the top 10 in either poll, with Florida retaining the top spot in both rankings.
Last week, the Crimson Tide defeated Southern Miss on Tuesday before dropping two out-of-conference contests against Washington. Alabama is now 38-11 overall and 10-7 in conference play. With SEC series remaining against No. 20/21 Ole Miss and No. 9/10 Auburn, the Crimson Tide is currently fifth in the league.
Alabama is one of 10 SEC schools ranked in this week’s top 25. All 13 SEC teams are either ranked or receiving votes in at least one poll this week. Ranked SEC teams include Florida (1/1), Texas A&M (5/4), Auburn (9/10), Tennessee (11/8), Alabama (13/14), LSU (17/18), Kentucky (18/19), Ole Miss (20/21), Georgia (22/25), and Arkansas (24/RV). Missouri, South Carolina, and Mississippi State are each receiving votes outside the top 25.
Alabama heads to Oxford, Miss., for a three-game series at Ole Miss starting Saturday at 2 p.m. CDT. Sunday and Monday’s contests, both scheduled for a 6 p.m. start, will air on the SEC Network.

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