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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Softball plays exhibition matches against Team Italy

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama softball player Alex Salter (#27) pitches against Team Italy on July 19 at Ronchi dei Legionari Softball Field in Ronchi dei Legionari GO, Gorizia.

On Monday, the Alabama softball program left the United States for a 10-day trip in Italy, featuring a pair of doubleheaders against the Italian national team.   

“When I started at Alabama, I always thought traveling internationally with the team would be a great experience,” head coach Patrick Murphy said. “And after previous trips to the Netherlands and Japan, I can attest that this is 100% true.” 

It’s been five years since the softball program traveled to Japan and nine years since its first international trip to the Netherlands. During those trips, the program watched the WBSC Softball Championships, visited historical sites and toured several cities, among other highlights.  

This year’s trip to Italy will have many similar items on the itinerary, including traveling through Florence, Lake Como and Milan after playing the Italian national team in Venice. 

“This opportunity is priceless,” Murphy said. “Experiencing a different culture is one of the best things a young person can do.” 

For two Alabama players, the experience is especially unique.  

Sisters Jenna and Lauren Johnson — senior and incoming freshman, respectively — will play together for the Crimson Tide for the first time. As members of the team combining graduated seniors and incoming freshmen, the sisters practiced for a week in Tuscaloosa before heading overseas.  

A total of 20 student-athletes are making the trip, including graduated senior and ace pitcher Montana Fouts and two other Team 28 newcomers, Jocelyn Briski and Kendal Clark.  

With Lauren Johnson rounding out the newcomers group, all three players saw playing time in the first doubleheader Wednesday evening. The exhibition games were both five innings long and will be followed by ten more innings on Thursday. After Thursday, the trip will become strictly traveling and sightseeing. 

“We can’t thank the Alabama Softball Walk-Off Club enough for their generous support towards our trips,” Murphy said. “Foreign tours also give me the chance to say ‘thank you’ to some of our staff members who work tirelessly behind the scenes for our student-athletes and coaches. Thank you also to Mr. [Greg] Byrne and Dr. [Karin] Lee for recognizing the value of this opportunity.” 

The team’s travels can be followed on the Alabama Softball Italy Tour Blog.

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