Alabama Softball Releases 2017 Schedule
Alabama softball announced its 2017 schedule Tuesday, a slate that includes two home tournaments, an out-of-conference series against Washington and SEC home series against Arkansas, South Carolina, LSU and Auburn.
Alabama’s schedule features seven teams that made last year’s NCAA Tournament, including Women’s College World Series participants Auburn and LSU, along with five teams that finished last season ranked in the top 25. The Tide will host a pair of home tournaments on Feb. 24-26 and March 3-5 and face Arkansas, South Carolina, LSU and Auburn in home SEC series this season. The Tide will also have a rematch of last season’s NCAA Super Regional series, welcoming Washington to Tuscaloosa for a pair of games (April 21-22).
“We are looking forward to a great schedule and hosting some new non-conference opponents at Rhoads Stadium while also welcoming back Washington,” UA head coach Patrick Murphy said.
Last season, Alabama set an NCAA record becoming the first program to average over 3,000 fans per game during the regular season. Season attendance has topped the 90,000 mark four times in the last five years and Murphy is aiming even higher in 2017.
“Our home schedule will give us a chance to go over the 100,000 mark in attendance this season,” Murphy said. “That’s something we’ve never done before. Our fans have been the best fans in the country over the last decade and we can’t wait to start another season of softball.”
Season tickets can be purchased now by visiting the Alabama ticket office in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, calling 205-348-BAMA or purchasing online at rolltide.com. Renewal forms for current season ticket holders will be sent out within the next few weeks and the deadline to renew is December 2.
Alabama opens its season in Myrtle Beach, S.C. at the Kickin’ Chicken Classic, hosted by Coastal Carolina, on Feb. 10-12. There, the Tide will play the host Chanticleers along with Towson and Youngstown State. Alabama then returns to Tuscaloosa for its home opener on Wednesday, Feb. 15 against South Alabama at 5 p.m. CT before heading to Lafayette, La. for a three-game series with the Ragin’ Cajuns on Feb. 17-19.
Following a midweek contest in Tuscaloosa against North Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 22, Alabama hosts the Easton Bama Bash on Feb. 24-26, welcoming Texas Tech and Gardner-Webb to Rhoads Stadium. A midweek trip to Birmingham to play UAB on Tuesday, Feb. 28 closes out the month of February before the Tide hosts the Easton Crimson Classic on March 3-5, facing Drake, Jacksonville and Stanford.
Back-to-back midweek contests against Loyola-Chicago on Tuesday, March 7 and Valparaiso on Wednesday, March 8 wrap up the pre-conference portion of the schedule. The Tide opens SEC play on March 10-12 at home against Arkansas. Alabama continues with a spring break doubleheader on Wednesday, March 15 against Winthrop and Georgia Southern at home before hitting the road to take on Mississippi State March 17-19 in Starkville.
Alabama returns home to continue conference play, hosting South Carolina on March 24-26 followed by a midweek contest against Kent State on Tuesday, March 28. The Tide then hits the road to take on Missouri (March 31-April 2) and follows with a neutral site game in Florence, Ala. against Lipscomb on Wednesday, April 5. Alabama hosts LSU (April 7-9) before hosting UAB on Tuesday, April 11.
The Tide heads to Knoxville on April 15-17 to face the Tennessee Volunteers before its bye week from SEC play. During that week, Alabama will play Southern Miss at home on Wednesday, April 19 before a pair of games against 2016 NCAA Super Regional opponent Washington on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22. A road contest in Birmingham against Samford follows on Tuesday, April 25 before the Tide heads to Oxford to take on Ole Miss (April 29-May 1).
Alabama then returns home for its regular-season finale, hosting Auburn in a three-game series at Rhoads Stadium (May 5-7). This year’s SEC Tournament in Knoxville, Tenn. begins on May 10 with the NCAA Tournament to follow. Alabama has made the NCAA Tournament in each of the previous 18 seasons and is the only team in the country to play in all 12 NCAA Super Regional rounds since its introduction in 2005.
Last season, Alabama made its 11th Women's College World Series appearance, finishing sixth nationally with a 51-14 record. The Tide coaching staff was named the NFCA South Region Coaching Staff of the Year for the 10th time in program history, led by head coach Patrick Murphy, who enters his 19th year at the helm of the program this season. The Tide returns 14 players from last year’s team and welcomes four newcomers.