Oct. 2, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama head softball coach Patrick Murphyannounced the 2013 schedule on Tuesday. The schedule features the full slate of games, including 32 home contest and two tournaments at Rhoads Stadium for the reigning national champions.
"With 14 letterwinners coming back, we tried to seek out the most competitive schedule we could this spring," Murphy said. "Our four tournaments have a very good mix of teams and our home midweek contests are highly competitive within the state and region."
Alabama's strength of schedule will be near the top in the country once again. The Crimson Tide play against 16 teams that made it to the NCAA Tournament in 2012, including two participants in the Women's College World Series.
Alabama will play in four regular season tournaments, including a homecoming of sorts for Murphy and sophomore Jadyn Spencer, as they open the season on Feb. 8-10, with five games at the Northern Iowa Dome Tournament, which features Northern Iowa and Illinois.
"Going home to Northern Iowa and playing in the UNI-Dome will be a fun trip for Jadyn Spencer, Kate Petullo-Harris, and myself," Murphy said. "UNI won the Missouri Valley last year and has several very good players returning."
Alabama will open its home portion of the schedule when they host South Alabama for a midweek matchup. South Alabama played in the championship game of the Tuscaloosa Regional in 2012.
UA then travels to the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament on Feb. 15-17, for five games, featuring two other 2012 NCAA Tournament teams in Florida Gulf Coast and Georgia Southern, in addition to Southern Illinois.
After a midweek game against instate rival and fellow NCAA Tournament participant UAB, the Crimson Tide hosts the Easton Bama Bash on Feb. 22-24, featuring Iowa, Western Illinois, and Winthrop.
Alabama will host Samford on Feb. 27, then host its second tournament of the year when they welcome Iowa State and St. John's in the Easton Classic on March 1-3.
Alabama will then host rival Florida for a single non-conference game at Rhoads Stadium on March 6. The two rivals are not slated to play on the SEC regular season schedule so a midweek affair was set.
Alabama will then travel to Knoxville for a three-game series against fellow WCWS participant, Tennessee on March 8-10.
UA will travel to Birmingham for a midweek game against Samford on March 13, before traveling to South Carolina on March 15-17.
The Crimson Tide welcomes Georgia State to Tuscaloosa on March 20, before playing rival Auburn on March 22-24, at Rhoads Stadium.
Alabama travels to the state of Texas during spring break, playing Houston on March 27, before playing at SEC newcomer Texas A&M on March 29-31, in College Station.
UA will begin a 10-game homestand when they welcome Jacksonville State on April 2, Missouri on April 5-7, Mississippi Valley State on April 9, UAB on April 10, Southern Miss on April 16, and rounds out its homestand with a three-game series against Mississippi State on April 19-21.
The Crimson Tide will travel to Baton Rouge to face off against LSU on April 26-29, before ending the regular season at home against Kentucky on May 3-5.
"Within the SEC, I believe that softball gained the most from adding Texas A&M and Missouri to the league," Murphy said. "Both schools have very strong softball traditions and in recent years, both played in Oklahoma City at the World Series. I have no doubt that the SEC's strength will be greater than ever in 2013."
The SEC Tournament is in Lexington, Ky., on May 9-11. NCAA postseason play is scheduled to begin on May 17. The Women's College World Series will once again be held in Oklahoma City and will start on May 30.