Four Alabama Softball Seniors Still Leave as ‘Champions’

Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

Four Alabama softball players saw their final game being played for the Crimson Tide on Saturday with the loss to LSU during the elimination game in Oklahoma City.

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Not many college softball players get to say those words: My last game was in the Women’s World College World Series. Another thing that not many can say is that they get to wear the Alabama Crimson Tide uniform for four seasons. I know four that got to say that this season.

Of course, the fans are disappointed in not winning the national championship, but the Tide did make it there. There are only a handful teams that can say that and also say it nearly every single season. Leona Lafaele, Kallie Case, Andrea Hawkins, and Haylie McCleney leave Tuscaloosa as champions. No, there won’t be a trophy presentation that we will be able to watch.  Read McCleney’s statement she tweeted out after the game if you don’t believe me.

Those are the type of people you are proud to say graduated from the University of Alabama. You knew the Tide’s 20th softball team was good when you saw Lafaele plant one over the fence for a homerun, or Hawkins wheeling out an infield to hit to reach first safely, or when you saw McCleney and Case showing off the gloves on the defense. What means more is that they turned into stronger women off the field. Just look at McCleney’s post-game press conference right after the elimination game.

McCleney wasn’t the only one passing along messages for Crimson Tide fans. Here is what Case and Hawkins had to say as well. It’s just as special.

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Back in April of 2016 prior to Senior Day, Lafaele said, “This team gets to represent everything that Alabama softball has ever stood for. I am so honored to be a part of a team that represents so many years of great accomplishments and great teams.”

Four wonderful ladies decided to continue their softball careers at the University of Alabama and accomplished one SEC regular season title, four NCAA Regional appearances, four NCAA Super Regional appearances, and three consecutive Women’s College World Series appearances. Not bad at all. Not only do they have those, they will walk away from Tuscaloosa as champions in life for the job that Coach Patrick Murphy and the staff did with these young women from day one.

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If there is anything the staff should hold their heads higher over, it’s the last statement. Alabama softball will be back and more than likely will next year. They do have a pretty good track record, for sure.