The Alabama softball team is going to Japan this summer.
The Crimson Tide will play two games against New Zealand and two against Great Britain as those teams prepare for the World Championship, which will bring 16 national teams to Japan. Alabama will depart July 25 and return Aug. 4.
“Four years ago we went to the Netherlands, which was one of the best experiences all of us have ever had,” UA coach Patrick Murphy said. “The girls that went on that trip still talk about it.”
UA will take a travel part of around 30, including at least some seniors from the 2018 team as well as incoming newcomers who will be on the roster next spring. Murphy plans to focus on returning and new players to get them experience. Players will begin practice in mid-July for the trip.
“That’s a huge benefit,” Murphy said.
Pitcher Courtney Gettins, a junior at UA last season, won’t be with the Crimson Tide, as she will be playing for New Zealand. In addition to left-hander Madison Preston, who just completed her freshman season, UA will have newcomers Montana Fouts and Krystal Goodman available. Fouts was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Kentucky as a high school senior, carrying a 0.04 earned-run average with 383 strikeouts and 17 walks in 178 innings, with 11 no-hitters including seven perfect games. Goodman pitched to a 26-2 record in junior college with a 0.46 ERA at Chipola (Fla.) College.
Two other freshmen – power hitter Kayla Davis of Hueytown and speedy left-handed hitter Kloyee Anderson of North Carolina – will also make the trip. Highly-recruited infielder Skylar Wallace of Woodstock, Ga., has decided to play summer travel ball instead.
Alabama will be able to stay to see some games in the World Championship.