First Season with Hitting Coach was 'Relationship-Building Year' for Alabama Softball

Crimson Tide head coach Patrick Murphy was asked about differences he noticed offensively under first-year hitting coach Adam Arbour.
The University of Alabama softball team huddle against UCLA at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Thursday, May 30, 2024. Photo by Kent Gidley
The University of Alabama softball team huddle against UCLA at Devon Park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Thursday, May 30, 2024. Photo by Kent Gidley / Alabama Athletics

OKLAHOMA CITY– Thanks to the NCAA ruling allowed a third paid assistant coach, Alabama softball was able to have a dedicated hitting coach for the first time in Adam Arbour.

The Alabama offense got hot at the right time in the NCAA tournament to make a run to the Women's College World Series, but it was absent or struggling for much of the season. The Crimson Tide was shutout seven times and scored three runs or less in 33 of 59 games.

Alabama finished in the bottom third of the SEC in batting average, runs, home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage and walks. The Tide offense didn't have a single player finish with more than 30 RBIs or seven home runs. Only two starters (Kristen White and Marlie Giles) ended the season with a batting average over .300.

After the Crimson Tide was eliminated from the Women's College World Series on Sunday night, Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy was asked what differences he saw offensively with the additino of a hitting coach this season.

" I think it was a good relationship-building year," Murphy said. "Somebody new. At the end of the game I think we had five sophomores in the lineup. We're a young team still. The more that they learn from him, he learns from them, the relationship. You cannot automate a relationship. You can go to Panera and it's automated order. You cannot automate relationships. You cannot do that. It's going to start one on one.

"I thought he did a good job of that early in the fall. But you got to build that trust with a hitter because everybody is different. Their approaches are different. Their mental games are different. You got to learn. We had 16. He's got to learn 16 different people, different personalities, what makes them go. You got to learn what motivates 'em. That's just going to keep getting better and better and better."

With a young core of players returning, next year will truly show if the relationship-building foundation laid by Arbour this season can turn into more offensive production for the Crimson Tide.

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Katie Windham


Katie Windham is the assistant editor for BamaCentral, primarily covering football, basketball gymnastics and softball. She is a two-time graduate of the University of Alabama and has covered a variety of Crimson Tide athletics since 2019 for outlets like The Tuscaloosa News, The Crimson White and the Associated Press before joining BamaCentral full time in 2021. Windham has covered College Football Playoff games, the Women's College World Series, NCAA March Madness, SEC Tournaments and championships in multiple sports.