Patrick Murphy is comfortable and confident. Those personality traits lend themselves well to being challenged, and if there’s one thing you can be sure about Murphy it’s that he’s not timid.
That’s why the No. 11 ranked Alabama softball team (10-2) is making the 2,500-mile trek to Seattle to take on the No. 1 team in the game right now in Washington. And the Crimson Tide will do it twice.
As has long been the tradition that Murphy established with UA softball, every player will have the opportunity to play in or in close proximity to their hometown during their collegiate career. So freshman Maddie Morgan’s grandparents pulled out extra place settings for this week.
Washington holds a 5-6 series advantage and certainly has the odds in its favor this weekend.
“It kind of started when Jordan Praytor was here,” Murphy said. “She was from there, so we went up there. But we didn’t know that we were going to have to go up there for super regionals. So we scheduled and they beat us. We go up there again for a tournament the next season, and I have to give credit to Heather Tarr, she’s one of the few in the Pac-12 that has agreed to home and away (series). We’ve continued it a little bit. They came again for regionals and they came again for super regionals. And then we’d set up this home and away. It worked out really well because this young lady from Lynwood, Washington, which is about 45 minutes from Seattle. So she gets to go home this weekend. We’re going to her grandma’s house for dinner Thursday night so that worked out.
“We love to play them. Obviously they’re No. 1 in the country. They’re having a hell of a year. It’s a fun series. I hope we get to do Washington again in the future.”
Murphy may love to play them, but maybe a little less this season. The Huskies rank third nationally in team ERA (.65), fourth in batting average (.389), first in home run (32) and second in runs scored per game (8.83).
Murphy highlighted the Huskies’ performance at a tournament earlier this year in which they outscored opponents 70-3 in five games.
“Their power numbers are incredible,” Murphy said. “They went to a tournament in Peoria, Illinois, and played in a little dome and it must’ve been bombs away because they averaged three touchdowns a game.
“They’ve got a really good pitcher. Their first baseman is having a hell of a year. Second, third and short are all good. They’re a complete team. It’s going to be tough.”
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.