TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama softball claimed the top spot in D1Softball’s Preseason Top 25, it was announced Tuesday.
The defending Southeastern Conference champion Crimson Tide leads a top 25 that includes 10 teams from the SEC, the most of any conference. The 2020 preseason poll is the inaugural set of rankings for D1Softball, which launched leading into this season.
Alabama returns 13 players from last year’s team that won 60 games, claimed the program’s fifth SEC regular-season title and advanced to the final day of bracket play at the 2019 Women’s College World Series. Among the returners are All-Americans Montana Fouts, Bailey Hemphill and Kaylee Tow, SEC Pitcher of the Year Sarah Cornell and All-SEC honorees Elissa Brown, Maddie Morgan and Skylar Wallace. Joining them are six newcomers, including five freshmen and graduate transfer Alexis Mack. Head Coach Patrick Murphy, who was last year’s SEC Coach of the Year, returns for his 22nd season at the helm of the crimson and white.
The Crimson Tide opens its 2020 season at the Joanne Graf Classic in Tallahassee, Fla., Feb. 7-8. There, Alabama will play two games each against North Carolina and host Florida State.