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

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama softball freshman impresses SEC one week into season 

CW/ Elijah McWhorter
Outfielder Lauren Johnson (#18) swings at the ball during the game against Wallace State.

One Alabama softball freshman has already made waves in her first official weekend with the program.  

Outfielder Lauren Johnson was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Week after her debut at Atlanta’s Buzz Classic with the Crimson Tide last weekend. 

“I was just really overjoyed to get that honor and to represent Alabama a little bit. It just meant a lot,” Johnson said. 

In the first game of her collegiate career, Johnson went 3-3 on her way to a .545 batting average over the course of the weekend — the highest batting average on the team. The six hits that contributed to her standout offensive were supplemented with four runs scored, two RBIs and three stolen bases, two of which she secured in the first game.  

Head coach Patrick Murphy said the freshman was impressive, but the best is yet to come. 

“I think her first hit was an 0-2 line drive to right field, which she didn’t panic when she got two strikes, she battled her butt off and then roped it into right field, so she’s got a bright future ahead of her,” Murphy said 

Johnson said she was a bit nervous heading into her first tournament, but her team helped calm the nerves.  

“All the nerves went away when I stepped in the box and I just had my team,” Johnson said. “All I heard was my team, and my coaches really prepared me before I went up there, and it was awesome.”  

Johnson also stood out defensively with a diving catch in the outfield. She said new assistant coach Kayla Braud has been a huge factor in her development.  

“One thing we worked on was alter egos,” Johnson said. “With alter egos, we’re two different people: We’re one person on the field and one person in the dugout or at home, and she really made me channel that. … She puts pressure on us, so I think that helps us in the games.” 

Johnson said her alter ego is a rattlesnake, and if she makes the shape of a snake with her arms out in the field, she’s channeling that alter ego.  

Before even stepping out onto the field, though, Johnson had already made history. She and her sister Jenna Johnson are the first sister duo to compete for the Alabama program.  

Jenna Johnson said she knew she wanted to come back for a sixth year ever since she gained an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID pandemic, but having her sister commit to the Crimson Tide definitely impacted her decision. 

“It was even easier having my sister here as a freshman,” Jenna Johnson said. “I mean, how cool is that opportunity, that I get to play with my sister.” 

The Johnson pair and the rest of the Crimson Tide will host Bama Bash, their home opening tournament this weekend in Rhoads Stadium.  

“I’m really excited to be at the Rhoads house because it’s like no other,” Lauren Johnson said. “I’ve been in the stands a lot over the past five years, with Jenna [playing], and I just can’t wait to be in front of all these fans and having this energy. Our team brings enough energy, but with 5,000 or however many fans are coming, that escalates it a ton.” 

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