Recapping Alabama softball’s recent roster movement

Blake Byler, Assistant Sports Editor

Team 27 will have some different faces next season. 

Following Alabama’s defeat at the hands of Stanford in the Tuscaloosa Regional final on May 22, the subsequent days saw a multitude of Alabama softball players, nine to be exact, announce their intentions about their futures with the Alabama softball program.  

Aside from the departure of first baseman Kaylee Tow due to graduation, six players are entering the transfer portal, three announced a return to use their extra year of eligibility and the remaining roster has some holes to fill to go along with the current recruiting class.  

The Departures 

OF Dallis Goodnight, Fr. 

Goodnight was part of a freshman class that saw a lot of playing time this season for Alabama. She saw the most action of the group, starting 49 games in the outfield, and spent considerable time as Murphy’s leadoff batter, batting .302 on the season. Goodnight has incredible speed and led the team in 2022 with 18 stolen bases. Once conference play started, Goodnight struggled significantly, batting just .172 in SEC play.  

IF Megan Bloodworth, Fr. 

Bloodworth made a name for herself from her first career at-bat, hitting a grand slam against Southern Utah to begin her Crimson Tide career. She totaled seven home runs on the season, good enough for third place on the team. She also made the second most starts of any freshman with 45, the majority of which came at second base. 

IF Jenna Lord, Fr. 

Infield is Lord’s natural position, but she spent much of her time her freshman year either in the outfield or being slotted as the designated player. Lord played very sparingly as the season began but carved out a role for herself after an impressive series against Florida in Gainesville in mid-April where she batted .455 over the weekend. After securing a regular spot in the starting lineup, she totaled 30 starts, however virtually none were in her natural position. 

C Abby Doerr, Jr. 

Doerr’s transfer is not much of a surprise, as she will be entering her senior year and Alabama’s starting catcher from 2022 will be returning in Ally Shipman. Doerr was still able to find her way onto the field starting many games as the designated player and batted .227 on the season. 

UTIL Savannah Woodard, Jr. 

Woodard played very sparingly in her junior season, and when she did play spent much of her time in the outfield. She batted just .164 on the season, but her speed was used often by Murphy in pinch running situations. She had one of her best games in the Tuscaloosa Regional in an elimination game against Chattanooga where she scored two runs as Alabama avoided elimination. 

RHP Lexi Kilfoyl, Jr. 

The transfer from Kilfoyl is perhaps the one that will hurt Alabama the most. She did not appear in a game for Alabama after April 23 due to a variety of injuries, but when healthy was easily Alabama’s second-best pitcher behind Montana Fouts, and at times performed better than her All-SEC counterpart. She pitched shut outs against then-top 10 teams in Arizona and Virginia Tech back in February and posted a season ERA of 2.36. She will surely be a highly sought-after transfer and could be a team’s ace in her senior year. 

The Returnees 

RHP Montana Fouts, Sr. 

The 2021 NFCA Pitcher of the Year followed up her stellar junior campaign with a senior season that saw her third consecutive first team All-SEC choice along with a 24-8 record and a 2.10 ERA. It was expected that she would use her extra year of eligibility due to COVID, but she officially announced her return in a tweet. 

“You’ll see me proudly wearing the A next year,” Fouts’ tweet said. “I don’t have to think twice about that. Murph  not only are you a hall of fame coach, but you’re a hall of fame man. I’ll die on that hill so Bury me In Dixie, Sweet Home Alabama, Roll Tide and Amen.” 

Fouts will spend the summer competing with Team USA in the 2022 World Games before returning to Alabama for her fifth and final season in 2023.  

C Ally Shipman, Sr.  

After transferring from Tennessee after her junior year, Shipman found a new home in Tuscaloosa and will also be returning for her fifth year of eligibility. Shipman made her announcement in a tweet as well. 

“Best decision of my life. Roll tide FOREVER. Team 27, let’s do this,” Shipman’s tweet said.  

Shipman is a massive returnee for Alabama in 2023 after leading the team with a .350 batting average and 46 RBIs in 2022. She also added eight home runs and will undoubtedly be one of Alabama’s best bats next season. 

3B Ashley Prange, Sr. 

Prange was Alabama’s starting third baseman all season after transferring from Ohio State after her junior season. Just like Shipman and Fouts, Prange will use her fifth year of eligibility the NCAA granted after the COVID cancellation season. Prange will join Shipman as one of Alabama’s top bats next year after tying her with eight home runs this past season. She was also second on the team in batting average at .333 and led the team with 13 doubles.  

Roster Outlook 

The biggest problem Alabama had to end the 2022 season was its inability to hit consistently and returning both Shipman and Prange is a huge step towards fixing that problem for next season. Alabama also will return two more of its better batters in outfielder Jenna Johnson, who ended the season as the leadoff batter, and shortstop Bailey Dowling, who led the team in home runs with 10 as a sophomore. 

Murphy currently has a three-man recruiting class coming in for next season. Infielder Abby Duchscherer, utility Marlie Giles, and outfielder Larissa Preuitt will join the Crimson Tide over the summer. Duchscherer and Giles are both ranked as top-50 recruits nationally according to 

While the transfer portal has trimmed Alabama’s roster down quite a bit, Murphy can use it himself to build it right back up. The Crimson Tide’s primary needs are another pitcher as well as more power hitters, and Murphy proved last season with the additions of Shipman and Prange that he can find talent in the transfer portal and integrate them seamlessly into his culture in Tuscaloosa.