Jan. 16, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The 2012 defending national champion Alabama softball team practiced for the first time in 2013 as it prepares for the upcoming season. The Crimson Tide was forced to go indoors due to inclement weather, practicing Wednesday afternoon in the hitting facility at Rhoads Stadium.
"It was great to get the cobwebs out," Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. "We aren't trying to reinvent the wheel here. It was all about fundamentals. Hopefully soon the weather will cooperate so we can get some live hitting and pitching under our belt."
The Tide looks to defend its first ever national title as well as its third straight Southeastern Conference regular season championship. Alabama returns 14 letterwinners from the 2012 squad that downed Oklahoma in the championship series for the SEC's first softball title, including NFCA All-Americans Jackie Traina and Kaila Hunt.
"Everyone is time-on-task and ready to get started," Murphy said. "Chemistry-wise I think we are going to be good. The newcomers have probably been waiting for this day to come for a couple years. Last year hasn't been brought up here and all we are trying to do is get better."
The team welcomes four freshmen in Kallie Case, Andrea Hawkins, Leona Lafaele and Haylie McCleney. Alabama will also feature UT-San Antonio transfer, Molly Fichtner.
The Crimson Tide will open up the 2013 season at the UNI Dome Tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa. First pitch will be Feb. 8, at 3 p.m., when Alabama faces Illinois.