Alabama softball steps into the 2018 season ranked No. 10 in the preseason Softball poll and No. 11 in the USA Today/NFCA poll, both released Tuesday.

Alabama finished last season ranked 11th in the USA Softball poll and 12th in the NFCA poll. The Tide has finished the season ranked in the top-25 in at least one poll every year since 2000, a streak of 17 straight. Alabama returns 13 letterwinners and nine starters from last year’s team that qualified for the program’s 19th-straight NCAA Tournament and made its NCAA-best 13th-straight Super Regional appearance.

Alabama’s out-of-conference schedule includes six games against four teams ranked in the preseason top-25, with a pair of games against both Washington (#4/5) and Florida State (#9/6) along with single games vs. Baylor (#10/12) and BYU (#19/22).

All 13 SEC teams are either ranked in the preseason top 25 or are receiving votes. Second-ranked Florida led the league, followed by Texas A&M (#6/9), LSU (#8/8), Alabama (#11/10), Tennessee (#12/11), Auburn (#13/14), Ole Miss (#14/15), Kentucky (#17/13) and Georgia (#25/25). South Carolina, Mississippi State, Missouri and Arkansas are all receiving votes outside the top 25 in at least one poll.

The Tide opens its 2018 season on the road at South Alabama Thursday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. CT before heading to Gulf Shores, Ala., for the Sand Dollar Classic. There, the Crimson Tide will face Central Arkansas, Lamar, Penn State and Virginia Tech over three days beginning Friday, Feb. 9.

For the latest information on the team, follow @AlabamaSB on Twitter, BamaSB on Instagram and Alabama Softball on Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

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