With the College Softball season only 16 days away, Softball America released their preseason Top 100 players (required subscription) for the upcoming season. Several returning stars made the list for the Tide.

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#84 - Ally Shipman

Photo Courtesy of Alabama Athletics
Photo Courtesy of Alabama Athletics
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With the departure of All-American and Alabama career home run leader Bailey Hemphill, the Crimson Tide had a huge role to fill in at catcher during the offseason. The Tide didn't have to look too far for their next starter as Tennessee starting catcher Ally Shipman announced her transfer from the Vols to the Tide over the summer.

Shipman started 98 games in three years with the Lady Vols and had a career .331 hitter, including 94 hits, 13 home runs and 75 RBIs. Shipman also hit the go-ahead home run against Arkansas in the 2021 SEC Tournament to advance to the quarterfinals. Alabama fans should keep their eye on #34 this season.

#66 - Bailey Dowling

Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics
Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics
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Dowling started 25 games for Alabama before suffering a season-ending injury. The sophomore star will look to come back stronger than ever after an injury. She made her first career hit on a 2-for-3 day against Notre Dame and hit her first home run against Louisville the next day. Dowling went for 4-for-12 against Auburn with five RBIs and a pair of home runs, including the go-ahead home run in game three.

#60 - Lexi Kilfoyl

Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics
Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics
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While Montana Fouts gets most of the recognition, Killfoyl should not go unnoticed. After a remarkable sophomore season, Lexi Kilfoyl is back for her junior season. She appeared in 32 games, including 16 starts as a pitcher, threw her first no-hitter against North Carolina, and threw a complete game shut out the next day over Troy. She struck out a career-high of 15 batters against Alabama State at the NCAA Regionals and earned the complete game-victory against Kentucky to clinch the Super Regional.

#52 - Kaylee Tow

Photo courtesy of Shanna Lockwood/ AU Athletics/ Alabama Athletics
Photo courtesy of Shanna Lockwood/ AU Athletics/ Alabama Athletics
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Another star returning to the field is Kaylee Tow, who started every game, primarily at first base. Tow went 3-for-4, five RBIs and three runs scored in the Tide's win over No. 8 LSU. She tied the single-game score record with three doubles in game two against Auburn and scored four times against Georgia, including a three-run home in game one. In one of Tow's most memorable moments of the season, she hit a three-run home run in the win over UCLA at Women's College World Series.

#2 - Montana Fouts

Photo courtesy of Crimson Tide Photos/ UA Athletics
Photo courtesy of Crimson Tide Photos/ UA Athletics
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Is it a surprise that the 2021 NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) Pitcher of the year is at the top of the list?

Fouts only led the NCAA with 349 strikeouts, threw a perfect game against UCLA on her 21st in the WCWs and tied a career-high of 16 strikeouts against Arizona to open play at the WCW. Is there anything she can't do?

Fouts started in 32 games and threw double-digit strikeouts in 22 of them. She struck out 10+ batters in back-to-back appearances against Florida, threw an SEC tournament record of 39 strikeouts over 20.2 innings and a complete shutout of the Gators in the SEC Championship. If Fouts can do all that last year, Alabama fans have to be excited about what she can do this year.

While the Crimson Tide fell short last season, there is no doubt that the team will be back in Omaha with all the talent. Team 26 kicks off the season in the Candrea Classic in Tucson, Arizona, on February 11 at 2 p.m.

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