On to Oklahoma City for the 'never say never' Alabama Crimson Tide

Patrick Murphy had been telling the Crimson Tide softball that the best was yet to come. Murphy was right as Alabama beat Tennessee to advance to the World Series.

On Sunday night, Patrick Murphy called this Alabama softball season the "most satisfying one of my career." Murphy remembered he said the same thing last season. Neither he nor anyone else could have known how exceptional this season would become.

For those Alabama fans who have not paid close attention, the Crimson Tide is now 38-18 and headed to Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series. It will be the 15th World Series appearance for Alabama.

After Alabama lost its first-round game in the SEC Tournament, almost no one was thinking about a World Series this season. Including that SEC Tournament 3-2 loss to LSU, Alabama's late season results were 3-9. The Crimson Tide finished 10-14 in SEC play; the first time being under .500 in SEC competition.

There were doubters about the Crimson Tide being worthy of hosting an NCAA Regional. Alabama did host and won the three games in Tuscaloosa.

Next was the Super Regional in Knoxville against the SEC Champion Tennessee Vols. Many vocal fans were pessimistic about the Tide's chances taking on the Vols in Knoxville. Going into the Super Regional Tennessee had 43 wins. After the first round of NCAA regional play, the NCAA re-seeded the Vols to No. 2 in the Super Regional field. Tennessee beat Alabama in two of three games in Tuscaloosa in late April.

As good as Alabama's pitching had been, its hitting had been the opposite. The Crimson Tide lost the first game against Tennessee, 3-2. It took 14 innings to win the second game, also with a final score of 3-2. On Sunday, the Crimson Tide exploded to a 4-0 lead and then, had to sit through a three-and-a-half-hour weather delay. The Vols threatened at the end, but the Crimson Tide closed it out, for a 4-1 win.

Alabama Crimson Tide fans, regardless of their favorite Crimson Tide sport, can relish the victory. It was one of the sweetest Alabama wins over Tennessee - ever. Adding to the post-game celebration, Crimson Tide players puffed on cigars on Tennessee's field.

In recent days Patrick Murphy had been telling his players the best was yet to come. As good as it is now, maybe there is more 'best' ahead in Oklahoma City.

Former Alabama soccer player, Emily Pitek provided the perfect summation of the Tide's success, "Our 'worst' team in season galvanized, found a new identity, trusted each other and are going to OKLAHOMA CITY." Especially true is the trusting part.