While Alabama football winds down a memorable 2017 championship season, Alabama softball has their sights on similar championship aspirations as Patrick Murphy squad began spring practice Wednesday afternoon from the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility.

A season ago, the Crimson Tide faced a number of setbacks including a severe facial injury but finished 2017 with a 47-17 overall record with two wins over top ranked Minnesota in the Tuscaloosa Regional and a near miss against Florida in the Gainesville Super Regional.

For 2018, Alabama will field a roster of 19 players including the return of one of college softball’s top pitchers in senior Alexis Osorio.

Prior to getting practice underway, Crimson Tide head softball coach Patrick Murphy and sophomore outfielder Elissa Brown discussed a number of topics relating to the upcoming season.

Entering his 20th season as Alabama’s head coach, Murphy shared his optimism for the season including the squad’s potential to be excellent defensively.

“I think we’re going to have a really, really good team defense. We have athletes at every position. We’re two-deep at every position.” Murphy said.

According to the Crimson Tide head coach, the experience along the infield could be highly beneficial for the upcoming season.

“We have three possible seniors starting in the infield. That’s a lot of experience, a lot of games under their belt. You can’t buy experience. I think they’re going to help the young kids too.” Murphy said.

At the plate, Alabama is looking to improve upon an offense that scored 4.2 runs per game a season ago, Murphy expressed his confidence in how the team is approaching this season at the plate and the potential of the freshman class.

“I think just the way we approached things in the fall. I think a lot of kids bought in. We had a couple of freshman that hit the ball well all fall.” Murphy said. “Maddie Morgan, Kaylee Tow, Katie Sides, Kyra Lockhart, really all four hit well.”

Another impact player to keep your eye out for is sophomore Elissa Brown. The Eclectic, Alabama native was one of the top base stealers in the SEC with 31 steals as a true freshman a season ago.

Like Coach Murphy, Brown is optimistic about the season in large part due to the team’s chemistry.

“This year, I expect us to be a lot better than last year. We’re all coming back from an ok season, but we know that as a team that we want to build and grown together. We want to be more as a team this year and not so separated and I think that will really take us far this year.”  Brown said.

The sophomore outfielder also cited improving team cohesiveness as a learning lesson from her freshman to sophomore year.

“I learned that we have to depend on each other a lot. We have to have confidence in each other, believe in each other. We have to work together. I learned from the coaching staff and my teammates that we have to bring each other with us. We have to support each other, fight for each other because at the end of the day, we’re playing for each other.” Brown said.

Alabama embarks on the 2018 season February 8 at South Alabama.