ITKWith the Crimson Tide softball team off to an impressive 20-4 start, I had the chance to make the trek to Rhoads Stadium to take in the Saturday contest with the Gamecocks this past weekend. Bama would pound South Carolina 10-5 en route to a 3-0 weekend sweep of USCe.

The team itself is mechanical. They are an impressive unit to watch, full of the kind of spunk and zeal you’d like any athletic team to possess. But the team was only part of what impressed me so much.

Photo by University of Alabama

Photo by University of Alabama

First, the stadium is amazing. The largest softball facility in the country, Rhoads Stadium is a testimony to excellence for a program that exudes excellence. The argument can be made, what came first, the excellence or the stadium?

That’s a tough call. The Bama softball program was born in 1997, and two years later made its first NCAA Tournament appearance.. The Tide has danced into the tourney every year since. The stadium was built in 2000, but in 2009 received major facility upgrades that would make many minor league baseball teams salivate.

The Tide softball program gets it. More accurately, you can say the Athletic Department gets it when it comes to Alabama softball. As already mentioned, the team hasn’t been left out of post-season play since 1999, but Bama has also made it to the college softball world series on eight of those occasions. So it’s natural to reward excellence with excellence.

What’s more, the enthusiasm inside the stadium isn’t generated. It’s an overflow of the product on the field. From warm-ups…which included some unreal, physical drills that from my seat looked risky prior to a game…to the final out…in our case a diving face plant by left fielder Kallie Case worth the price of admission just to see…the reaction to the effort you’re seeing is anything but manufactured.

But the price of admission is also reasonable. The team offers a “family four-pack” on Fridays and Saturdays, where for $10 a ticket you get admission, a hot dog, drink and chips. Your seats are in the brick yard, a grassy area in center and right field, but there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Saturday’s weather was so amazing, the seating couldn’t have been better. Bring a blanket or camping chair and you’re in business.

Or, better yet, take in the game from the concourse area down the right field line, complete with tables and drink rails. The food was also spot on. Of course, I don’t know when I’ve ever had a “bad” stadium hot dog.

Top to bottom, if you’ve never made it to a softball game, let me give you some advice. Do. It’s a great, affordable experience for the whole family, supporting a program at the Capstone that “gets it.”

For ticket information call (205) 348-BAMA, or email ticketoffice@ia.ua.edu. For future Tide opponents click here.


(Follow ITK on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)

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8 Responses to “Bama softball worth experiencing in-person” Subscribe

  1. The Conduit March 10, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Wow, ITK. Well said.

    I think the softball team is just another great example of how the University of Alabama has such a clear identity that permeates through so many groups as a unified culture. Football may be the outlier, but the golf teams, softball, gymnastics, track and soccer teams, there’s almost an eerily similar attitude you can see in all these teams when they’re on the court/field/mound/mat/links.

    I digress; Alabama softball is fantastic. It’s easily as enjoyable as baseball (if not moreso, personally) and full of personality, action and undeniable talent. The park is perfectly placed and always well-kept, even enough to notice on the live TV feed. I admit, I’ve watched more softball the last four years than baseball, including a couple national championships and some seriously dominating in-conference performances.

    If you haven’t seen Alabama softball, give it a shot.

    I’ll say it again; try it. They might not get a trophy room or a statue like they would at other universities, but they’re champions like many at the University of Alabama. Roll Tide.

  2. Hunter Ford March 10, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Are the hotdogs just like the ones at Bryant-Denny?

    Sounds like a good time. The photo alone makes me want to go hang-out some afternoon.

    • The Conduit March 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

      I believe they are.

      But the crowd is that much more gorgeous at a softball game, too.

    • ITK March 10, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

      Yep Hunter, they are. But again, I don’t know that I’ve every had a bad stadium dog. Something about them makes them awesome.

      • Hunter Ford March 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

        Bet they are Zeiglers

  3. Hunter Ford March 10, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Sounds to me like the Capstone Report gang should have a get together at a softball game sometime.

  4. Hunter Ford March 10, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    Oh, and our women know how to beat Oklahoma don’t they? RTR

    Also, baseball and softball is a popular sport all across Alabama. I am in Pike County and there have been some excellent teams here. It is a good family oriented experience. Bama girls know how to play.

  5. A Ganger March 15, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Man Oh Man…I love me some Women’s Softball…I watch every game I can on line on or TV or listen on Radio on line when ever I can…If I lived in Alabama would be a season Ticket Holder for sure…

    I played catcher and pitcher in the slow pitch Navy League back in the mid 80′s down in Kings Bay, GA…It was so close to Florida’s Fernandina Beach it was pathetic…That is the best beach in Florida for finding sharks teeth and ancient sharks teeth.. It’s on the border of FL and GA …nice place…Great Fishing too…

    Bama’s Gymnastics is phenomenal…Hell we just beat AUburn 109 times in a row..ROFLMAO…Can U say DOMINATE??? Those girls got the kind of legs I like…FEET at one end and A$$ at the other…

    Golf, Baseball, I watch or listen to ‘em all on Tide TV via the internet…Worth every penny of 12 bucks a month…For those who don’t reside in God’s Country anymore it’s the next best thing to being there…I even get to watch the Nick Saban Show and hear Hey Coach…What a deal…All the money goes to the school too…It’s a win/win situation…UNOWHUTIMEAN? Verne.
    Roll Tide Y’all
    Protect America, Build Submarines

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