Alabama softball optimistic with early season start
By WVUA23 Sports Reporter Avery Lake
Alabama softball season is just around the corner and “Team 27” is looking to build on last year.
The 2022 season ended a bit earlier than expected with a loss in the Tuscaloosa Regional Tournament.
Tide head coach Patrick Murphy has put last year’s ending in the rearview mirror.
“Right when we started in August, we put that to bed and concentrated on Team 27,” he said. “I think everybody is highly motivated I think Montana (Fouts) and probably Faith (Hensley) both have a chip on their shoulder, I know I do. I think we used the offseason to learn, to grow, to get better – coaching staff, players and everybody. I think if you’re not a lifelong learner in this league, you’re going to get your butt run over by the competition. So you have to continuously reinvent yourself as a coach, as a person and I think our entire program has done that this year.”
There will be some newcomers to this year’s team starting with Faith Hensley, an outfielder from Ball State that transferred here for her final year of eligibility. Hensley was the 2022 MAC player of the year and will be a big addition to this team.
“Almost you get to reinvent yourself when you come to a new place a little bit,” Hensley said. “I think the thing that has resonated with me the most this year is we really talked about you know connecting with our teammates and affirming one another in a way that also allows us to hold others accountable, which both of those things are just gonna drive us to our maximum potential because at the end of the day, I think that we do have really strong older leadership a lot of great returners but what’s really gonna shock people is how incredible and the amount of depth we have in our younger athletes.”
The Tide has five freshmen coming in this season: Kristen White, Abby Duchscherer, Larissa Preuitt and Marlie Giles.
Alabama also has key players returning including Montana Fouts, Ashley Prange and Ally Shipman, who are all returning for their fifth year.
The softball season starts Feb. 11 when the Crimson Tide hosts a doubleheader against Lehigh at 3:30 p.m. and Georgia Southern at 6 p.m.. Both games are happening at Rhoads Stadium.