Alabama will play nine games in 2018 against teams that made it to the Women’s College World Series last season, including six games at Rhoads Stadium. UA released its schedule for the spring on Monday.
The Crimson Tide will host Florida on April 7-9 and Texas A&M on May 4-6. Alabama will also visit Washington in Seattle in March and play Baylor in a tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss., in February.
UA will also host Ole Miss (March 23-25) and Tennessee (April 21-23) in SEC play.
“I think for the first time ever, all four home SEC series are against teams that made it to super regionals,” said Patrick Murphy, Alabama’s coach. “I don’t think that’s ever happened.”
Another 2017 super regional opponent, Florida State, will visit for the Easton Bama Bash tournament on Feb. 23-25, with the Crimson Tide playing FSU twice.
“That’s a really good non-conference opponent at home,” Murphy said.
Alabama’s road SEC opponents include Auburn (March 16-18), Kentucky (March 30-April 1), Arkansas (April 13-15) and Georgia (April 27-29).
“Last year, obviously, was the biggest year ever for SEC softball with all 13 teams getting in (the NCAA Tournament),” Murphy said. “Whoever you play is going to be a great opponent. There’s no such thing as a day off. It just isn’t going to happen.”
Along with nine games against World Series teams, Alabama is also scheduled to play 14 games against super regional teams (FSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Auburn and Kentucky) and 10 more against teams that played in NCAA regionals (Georgia, Arkansas, Fordham, BYU and McNeese State).
Alabama will open the season on Thursday, Feb. 8, at South Alabama and then play in the Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores, facing Central Arkansas, Lamar, Penn State and Virginia Tech.
In addition to Baylor, UA will play Southern Miss, McNeese State and Mississippi Valley State in the Black and Gold Tournament in Hattiesburg.
FSU will join Georgia State and Murphy’s alma mater, Northern Iowa, at the Bama Bash event. In Seattle, Alabama will play BYU, Portland State and Northwestern in addition to two games against Washington.
Boston College and Fordham will visit Rhoads Stadium for the Easton Crimson Classic on March 9-11.
Alabama will visit Georgia Tech on March 14. UA has a home-and-home with UAB (in Birmingham on Feb. 27 and in Tuscaloosa on March 20) and will visit Georgia Tech on March 14. UA will host Southern Miss on April 18.
In 2019, Alabama will visit Arizona, with the Wildcats coming to Tuscaloosa in 2020. Minnesota and Georgia Tech are scheduled to come to Alabama in 2019.
2018 Alabama Softball Schedule
Feb. 8 at South Alabama
Feb. 9-11 Sand Dollar Classic*
(Central Arkansas, Lamar, Penn State, Virginia Tech)
Feb. 16-18 Black and Gold Tournament+
(Southern Miss, McNeese State, Mississippi Valley State, Baylor)
Feb. 23-25 Easton Bama Bash%
(Georgia State twice, Florida State twice, Northern Iowa)
Feb. 27 at UAB
March 2-4 Husky Classic^
(BYU, Washington twice, Portland state, Northwestern)
March 9-11 Easton Crimson Classic%
(Boston College twice, Fordham twice, Samford)
March 14 at Georgia Tech
March 16 at Auburn
March 17 at Auburn
March 18 at Auburn
March 20 UAB
March 23 Ole Miss
March 24 Ole Miss
March 25 Ole Miss
March 30 at Kentucky
March 31 at Kentucky
April 1 at Kentucky
April 7 Florida
April 8 Florida
April 9 Florida
April 13 at Arkansas
April 14 at Arkansas
April 15 at Arkansas
April 18 Southern Miss
April 21 Tennessee
April 22 Tennessee
April 23 Tennessee
April 27 at Georgia
April 28 at Georgia
April 29 at Georgia
May 4 Texas A&M
May 5 Texas A&M
May 6 Texas A&M
May 9-12 SEC Tournament#
* Gulf Shores
+ Hattiesburg, Miss.