Patrick Murphy is from Iowa, but this weekend’s trip to Lafayette, La., is a homecoming for the University of Alabama’s head softball coach.
That’s also true for longtime assistant coach Alyson Habetz, who played at the school then known as Southwestern Louisiana when Murphy was an assistant there. Murphy got his coaching start with the Ragin’ Cajuns under Yvette Girouard.
“They gave me my shot in Division I athletics,” Murphy said.
Murphy spent five seasons there in the 1990s, then served one season at Northwest Missouri State as interim head coach before coming to UA as an assistant in 1996, before Alabama fielded its first team in ’97. He was promoted to head coach in 1999.
Habetz has been an assistant with the Crimson Tide since Murphy was promoted.
Freshman catcher Bailey Hemphill will also be making a homecoming. She is from Lafayette.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun for Bailey, Aly and I,” Murphy said. “It’s Bailey’s hometown, Aly’s school where she played basketball and softball and graduated from, and I spent five years there coaching.
“We still know tons of people. Obviously Bailey and Aly know a lot more than me, but they’re still some of the best people I’ve ever met in sports and life.”
ULL will honor Murphy and Habetz before Saturday’s game, the second in the three-day weekend series.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are ranked in the top 20 and have made six appearances at the Women’s College World Series. They are generally among the best offensive teams in the country. Alabama and ULL are among a group of only nine schools that have participated in the NCAA Tournament every season since 2000.
No. 4 Alabama at No. 18 Louisiana-Lafayette
Schedule: Friday at 5 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m.
Where: Lamson Park in Lafayette, La.
Records: Alabama 6-0, ULL 4-2
Radio: 93.3 FM