#14 Alabama Softball 2019 Preview

Alabama Crimson Tide
Overall Rank: #14
Conference Rank: #7 SEC
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Alabama had to battle all year long in 2018 to earn everything they received as the Crimson Tide won 36 games and returned to Super Regionals. Alabama ran into Washington out at the Seattle Super Regional where the Crimson Tide had a two-run lead in game one but couldn’t put the Huskies away. In game two, Washington eliminated Alabama by a score of 6-0 which means the Crimson Tide head into the 2019 season looking to get back to the Women’s College World Series for the first time since the 2016 season.
2018: 36-20, 12-12
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Patrick Murphy
Key Departed Players:
Demi Turner, IF, .305 BA, 0 HR, 16 RBI
Gabby Calloway, OF, .300 BA, 4 HR, 32 RBI
Sydney Booker, IF, .243 BA, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 10 SB
Peyton Grantham, IF, .214 BA, 4 HR, 14 RBI
Alexis Osorio, P, 2.08 ERA, 15-10 W/L, 168.1 IP, 119 BB, 229 SO
Key Returning Players:
Elissa Brown, OF, .341 BA, 0 HR, 14 RBI, 30 SB
Bailey Hemphill, UTIL, .333 BA, 13 HR, 48 RBI
Kaylee Tow, OF, .327 BA, 11 HR, 31 RBI
Merris Schroeder, OF, .269 BA, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 8 SB
Reagan Dykes, C, .218 BA, 5 HR, 18 RBI
Courtney Gettins, P, 2.48 ERA, 14-5 W/L, 124.1 IP, 57 BB, 69 SO
Madison Preston, P, 3.17 ERA, 7-5 W/L, 75.0 IP, 39 BB, 46 SO
Alabama will need to find a way to be a bit more dominant at the plate this season if they are to get to Oklahoma City. The Crimson Tide hit .273 as a team and scored just under five runs per game in 2018. Elissa Brown hit .341 and stole 30 bases last season and she will need to be a table setter for Bailey Hemphill and Kaylee Tow, who combined for 24 homeruns. Merris Schroder and Regan Dykes will look to elevate their batting averages in 2019 as Schroeder hit a solid. 269 while Dykes hit .218. If these two players can add about ten points to the batting average and get the on-base percentage up over .350 that will help the offense a lot. Courtney Gettins should be the projected number one starter to replace Alexis Osorio, but will have plenty of competition from Madison Preston, Montana Fouts and Hofstra transfer Sarah Connell.  The pitching staff will have to get a better balance with their walk to strikeout ratio in 2019 as they walked 215 batters and struck out 344. That number needs to get to at least two strikeouts to one walk at minimum for this Alabama team to go far in 2019. The schedule is difficult with road trips to Texas A&M, Florida, and LSU so if Alabama can win about 13 SEC games, they should end up hosting a regional once again.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament