Jan. 15, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama softball team took to the field for the first time in 2012 as the Crimson Tide practiced for three hours on Sunday, working on defensive fundamentals and base running before taking live batting practice to close out the day at Rhoads Stadium.
"I think this team more than any other is ready to start practicing again," UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. "They have a love of the game that's contagious and I hope our fans can sense it every time they take the field."
The Tide looks to defend its Southeastern Conference regular season championship for the second consecutive season. Alabama returns nine starters from the 2011 squad that finished the season ranked No. 3 in the final polls, including NFCA All-Americans Jackie Traina and Kayla Braud.
"Everyone has been excited to get back on the field since October," Braud said. "We are ready to start putting in the work towards accomplishing bigger and better things each and every day. Everyone is very excited to say the least."
The team welcomes five newcomers in Chaunsey Bell, Danae Hays, Leslie Jury, Danielle Richard and Jadyn Spencer. Jury and Spencer where both named the 2011 Gatorade Player of the Year in their respective states.
The Crimson Tide will open up the 2012 season at the Mardi Gras Invitational at Jaguar Field in Mobile, Ala. First pitch will be Feb. 10 at 3 p.m., when Alabama faces Memphis.