Alabama Softball looking for second national title

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Alabama player Montana Fouts and Ally Shipman walk to circle against Northwestern at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Saturday, May 28 2023

By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Juliet Brown

Alabama softball won the lone national championship in program history in 2012.

A lot has changed in the 11 years since Alabama’s championship run. Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy remembers traveling to Oklahoma City when the field didn’t even have a warning track or a permanent fence, before facility upgrades and increased media coverage that awaits this year.

“Caitin Lowe (former Arizona softball player), I remember, hit her chin on the fence and half of it fell of,” Murphy said. “Of course it was on national television, and it just did not look good. Now it’s a permanent fence, padded by a professional company all the way around.”

After many years of complaining, the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex, where the WCWS is played, underwent extensive renovations starting in 2013.  From 2013-2015, renovations included “updated and expanded dugouts, installed underground locker rooms, restrooms and training rooms, new photo wells for media and television crews and a new parking pad for television crews,” according to Team USA Softball’s website. More renovations happened in 2018 to make the complex what it is today.

The coverage and interest in college softball has also grown a lot over the years.  In a press conference prior to arriving at the WCWS with many reporters surrounding him to ask questions, Murphy quantified just how much softball has grown.

“You know, the first time we did this, there might have been one of you doing this, and now there’s 12 of you,” Murphy said.

This Alabama team will have a lot more eyes watching them play than the 2012 team had.  Team 27 plans on embracing the atmosphere and soaking it all in.  The Crimson Tide play Tennessee Thursday at 11 a.m. CT and will air on ESPN. This will be the fifth time the two teams play each other. Tennessee won the series 2-1 in March before defeating Alabama in the SEC Tournament. The Crimson Tide didn’t have its ace pitcher Montana Fouts for its most recent game against the Volunteers. Fouts hyperextended her knee against Arkansas the night before the Tennessee game and didn’t play in any of the Regionals games. While she might not be 100% yet, expect to see Fouts in the circle at some point on Thursday.

“Pain is temporary,” she said. “I’ll feel that some other day.”



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