Patrick Murphy Recaps Alabama’s 2017 Softball Season [Audio]
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While Oklahoma finished as college softball’s national champion for the second consecutive season, Alabama completed their season in late May against Florida.
Two weeks removed from the final out at Florida, Alabama head softball coach Patrick Murphy reflected on his team’s 2017 season during his visit with Aaron Suttles on The Suttles Approach.
In assessing the 2017 season, Murphy touched on how pleased he was to coach this year’s team.
“I loved the team. They were one of the easiest groups to coach, no issues on and off the field, team GPA at 3.7 and a group of low-maintenance kids which is what I like.” Murphy said.
Alabama began the season red hot by winning 31 of their first 35 games and finished strong by defeating top ranked Minnesota twice in the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional in addition to taking Florida to game three in the Super Regional round. In between then, the Crimson Tide lost Demi Turner for almost the entire month of April and lost 10 of their final 18 regular season games.
Murphy pointed to the SEC Tournament trip to Knoxville when the season took a turn for the best.
“When we went up to the SEC Tournament in Knoxville and Littlejohn pitched a hell of a game to beat Arkansas, Osorio pitched an equally good game and beat (Texas) A&M in 10 innings and I think that kind of started it.” Murphy said. “I think everybody realized this is the type of team that we could be.”
While Sydney Littlejohn and Alexis Osorio had career seasons from the circle, Alabama’s offense struggled for most of the season. The Crimson Tide finished last in the SEC in team batting average (.273), ninth in home runs (37) and 10th in runs scored (266).
Murphy addressed improvement areas for the team in the off-season including the offense.
“We’re just going to go back to some really good fundamental offensive softball and just drill and drill and drill and just keep going until we get it right.” Murphy stated.
Alabama’s softball also touched on the NCAA Softball Selection Committee’s process of selecting teams in the NCAA Tournament, possible renovations at Rhoads Stadium and the growth in college softball’s popularity.
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