Alabama softball ranked No. 2 in preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25

Alabama softball head coach Patrick Murphy
·1 min read

Alabama softball is ranked No. 2 in the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 rankings going into the 2022 season.

In other rankings, the Crimson Tide is ranked No. 3 by Softball America while D1Softball.com places Alabama at No. 2.

Alabama has multiple key returning starters, including reigning NFCA pitcher of the year Montana Fouts, who pitched a 14-strikeout perfect game in the Women's College World Series against UCLA. The Crimson Tide also returns three-time NFCA All-America infielder Kaylee Tow and 2021 All-SEC Newcomer Team member Lexi Kilfoyl, a junior pitcher.

All three of these key returners have been named to the 2022 USA Softball Player of the Year watchlist. Alabama is one of only six schools to have three players on this year's watchlist.

Defending national champion Oklahoma sits atop the ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings at No. 1. Other SEC teams in the first poll of the season include No. 5 Florida, No. 9 Arkansas, No.12 Missouri, No. 15 LSU, No. 16 Tennessee, No. 19 Georgia and No. 20 Kentucky.

Alabama is scheduled to play 10 teams ranked in the preseason poll in 2022, with a total of 23 games against such teams: No. 5 Florida (three), No. 6 Florida State (one), No. 8 Texas (two), No. 10 Virginia Tech (two), No. 11 Arizona (one), No. 12 Missouri (three), No. 15 LSU (three), No. 19 Georgia (three), No. 20 Kentucky (three) and No. 23 Louisiana (two).

The Crimson Tide finished last season 52-9. Alabama was eliminated by Florida State in the semifinal round of the WCWS.

Alabama will open its 2022 campaign on Feb. 11, vs. Southern Utah in the first round of the Mike Candrea Invitational in Tucson, Arizona.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama softball ranked No. 2 in ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25

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