Alabama Softball: Proof we should invest in college softball

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Ncaa Super Regional Alabama Vs Kentucky
[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Ncaa Super Regional Alabama Vs Kentucky /

Alabama softball proves that we should up the investment in the sport

Alabama softball fans know that this team is special. Between having the best pitcher and hitter in program history and the cancelation of last year due to COVID-19, the Crimson Tide‘s historic run to the Women’s College World Series has been one of the most exciting seasons in program history.

Alabama has always had support from fans for softball, but there needs to be a nationwide investment in the sport to develop it properly.

So, why does college softball need an investment? For a start, it is one of the most underrated sports at the college level. It’s fast-paced due to a 60-foot basepath and the unique pitching style. The wait between pitches is significantly smaller than baseball, and it takes athletic fielders to force outs.

There is also more nuance to softball. Batters are more likely to bunt, and speedy batters will get a running start in the batter’s box during the pitch. Home runs are more likely, and every at-bat is entertaining.

Alabama softball proves this, but it’s more than just one team or program. Teams like James Madison and Georgia have had surprising runs through the postseason.

While college softball is fun to watch, why should there be a deeper investment? It comes down to exposure. Softball events are entertaining in person, but it takes more than that to develop the sport. Casual fans need to flip through the channels and see different games on the air. They need to watch sports shows and see highlights and analyses. There needs to be a better way to view scores, rankings and stats from games.

This has happened for college football and basketball, and we’ve seen the results. There is no reason college softball can’t take over as another dominant college sport.

Alabama softball’s head coach Patrick Murphy has voiced this sentiment recently, asking for athletic directors to invest in college softball. While there is potential for growth, many schools have a long way to go. Vanderbilt is still without a college softball team.

Investing in college softball won’t be done by one conference or one company. It will take a significant effort by all parties over a long period of time. Over the span of multiple years, there could be some hope of seeing college softball games as often as other sports. This could also develop the professional side of softball along with the women’s national team.

There is room for growth, but it won’t happen without effort. This postseason proves that college softball should be seen as the future of college sports.