With less than one week until the beginning of the 2016 season, Alabama softball welcomed fans into Rhoads Stadium on Saturday for Fan Day.

“When I drove down the street before I got here, there were already people in line to get in to watch our scrimmage” said Head Coach Patrick Murphy. “That doesn’t happen anywhere else in the country. Our fans here at Rhoads Stadium are the best in college softball.”

Fans had been lined up outside for nearly 30 minutes by the time the gates opened at 11 a.m. Once everyone found their seats, the team went through a quick hitting warmup before splitting into two teams for an intersquad scrimmage. Following the scrimmage, the team gathered on the concourse and signed autographs for the fans in attendance.

“The fans mean so much to us,” said senior Haylie McCleney. “Not many people can say they draw 3,000 people to a softball game. That’s for midweeks, SEC series or anything. Last year against Oklahoma we had 4,000. That’s insane. They make this place so much fun to play in.”

Alabama officially opens its 2016 season on Friday, Feb. 12 in Orlando at the UCF Knights Invitational. The Tide will play two games on Friday, taking on Fordham at 1 p.m. CT and No. 17 UCF at 5:30 p.m. Alabama’s home opener is Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. against Troy.

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