2017 Alabama Softball Preview


As the spring athletics season begins, Alabama Softball is looking to improve after finishing 6th overall in the Women’s College World Series. With the season starting next weekend, will the Tide be chasing the title again?

Alabama Softball will begin it’s 2017 title hunt this weekend as they travel to Conway, SC. The Tide will face Towson, Coastal Carolina, and Youngstown State.

The 2016 season was marred by a very difficult schedule. Most of the losses last season were against ranked teams. The Tide did make the postseason, winning the Tuscaloosa regional over Stanford and Cal. Then, the Tide beat #11 Washington in two games in the Tuscaloosa Super Regional. Unfortunately, that’s as far as they got as #11 and eventual champion Oklahoma knocked them out of the Women’s College World Series.


The transition from 2016 to 2017 roster has a few key positions to be filled.  The good news is that all of the pitching staff return from last year. Sydney Littlejohn will be the senior pitcher this year, coming off 110 strikeout season in 156.1 innings pitched. Junior Alexis Osorio returns as well. Osorio averaged about 1.5 strikeouts per inning and saved 6 games. Finally, Madi Moore will be entering her 2nd year, coming off an impressive 9-0 record.

However, Alabama will need some good bats this year. Three of the top five in batting average have graduated (McCleney, Hawkings, Lafaele). Lafaele put up the most home runs last year. Catcher Reagan Dykes had a close second with 11. Infielder Demi Turner returns, who put up a whopping .421 batting average in her first season last year. Chandler Dare returns as well, who had the most hits last year.

Alabama lost two outfielders, one infielder and a utility to graduation. To add, the Crimson Tide also put in the #5 recruiting class, according to FloSports.com. Utility Elissa Brown and Infielder Claire Jenkins are both from Alabama (Eclectic and Cullman, respectively). Out of state, outfielder Gabby Callaway from San Diego, CA and Bailey Hemphill from Lafayette, LA join the Tide.

The coaching staff remains the same this year. Patrick Murphy will be entering his 19th season this year, along with Alyson Habetz as the Associate Head Coach. Stephanie VanBrinkle Prothro will be in her 6th season as the pitching coach for Alabama.


More from Bama Hammer

Alabama will play 33 games of its 56 game schedule at home this year. In fact, from February 22nd through March 15th, they will play only one game outside of Tuscaloosa. Alabama will host two tournaments: The Easton Bama Bash and the Easton Crimson Classic.

Notable out-of-conference opponents include last year’s Super Regional opponent Washington. This will be a late season, two-game series in April on A-Day weekend. Other games include a trip to Lafayette, LA to play the LA-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. Alabama will play UAB twice this season, once in Birmingham on February 28th, and again on April 11th at home.

The SEC schedule works out well for the Tide. The arguably toughest opponents, Auburn and LSU, will play in Tuscaloosa this year. Both Auburn and LSU were in the WCWS last year and Auburn was a runner-up. Alabama will have trips to Starkville, Columbia (MO), Knoxville and Oxford this year on the road.

Next: Alabama Football Players Shine at SB51


If Alabama can get the bats hot this year, Alabama looks to go back to the WCWS again. We know the pitching can only get better and the key positions missing from last year’s team will be filled with people who have gained experience. As long as Alabama can generate some offense, they can go far this season.