In less than one month, Alabama softball sets sail on the 2019 season with a three-day, five-game appearance in the Troy University Tournament.

One of the most critical areas of the team for the season is to see who succeeds four-year starter Alexis Osorio as the top pitcher on the staff.

Senior Courtney Gettins and sophomore Madison Preston return from the 2018 season, but head coach Patrick Murphy added three pitchers to the roster including one of the top high school pitchers in America in the 2018 class, one of the top junior college pitchers in America and a transfer from Hofstra who was among the best mid-major pitchers in college softball last season.

One of the headliners in Alabama's 2018 signing class was Grayson, Kentucky's Montana Fouts. The 6-1 hurler was the seventh ranked overall prospect and the third ranked pitcher the class according to FloSoftball. According to Murphy, Fouts has already impressed the coaching staff with her work ethic.

"One of our freshman Montana Fouts just had an awesome fall. Believe it or not, she's probably the hardest working pitchers we've ever had, already and it's only been four months into her career." Murphy said.

Former Hofstra ace and the 2018 Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year Sarah Cornell joined the Alabama's roster over the summer. The Westbury, New York, native posted a 23-9 record in the circle last season and led Hofstra to a CAA Tournament title and an appearance in the NCAA Columbia (SC) Regional.

Another incoming pitcher that could play a big role on the team is junior college transfer Krystal Goodman. In her final season with Chipola College, Goodman earned NJCAA Pitcher of the Year honors with a 26-2 record and helped her team to a runner-up finish in the NJCAA Division-1 Softball Championship. During his visit with reporters, Murphy highlighted the potential that the Long Beach, Mississippi native has at the Division I level.

"She has incredible potential, and I don't think she even realizes how good she could be." Murphy said.

Alabama's first games of the 2019 season come against Murray State and Troy February 8 from the campus of Troy University.