The wheels never stop turning in Patrick Murphy's head, and Alabama softball fans are about to be better off for it.

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As Murphy's Team 28 returns to Tuscaloosa for its home opener at the Easton Bama Bash this Friday-Sunday, fans at the Rhoads House will see a few new additions in the outfield.

For one thing, the outfield fence photos have been revamped with different program legends. The padding now features Ally Shipman, Bailey Hemphill, Kayla Braud, Alexis Mack, Kaylee Tow, Haylie McCleney, Reagan Dykes, Montana Fouts and head coach Patrick Murphy, a Hall of Famer.

But there's more: the padding that used to cover the whole outfield fence now stops about 30 feet short of the foul line, leaving the right field fence exposed. This area will allow new outfield seating for fans in the Brickyard to take advantage of, while also slightly upping the capacity of the stadium itself.

Alabama already has the largest on-campus collegiate softball stadium in the country with a former capacity of 3940, but Oklahoma is currently building a stadium that will hold more than 4,000.

Murphy explained Tuesday that there are going to be eight, new 8x10 plots that are first-come, first-serve where families or groups of up to eight people can bring lawn chairs and sit in each section. Murphy got the idea from Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, when he was out on the West Coast for a recruiting trip recently.

"They have it almost half the fence is see-through with no pad," Murphy said. "It's just like this family atmosphere, and it's a party. I really thought it'd be a cool idea. It's not going to restrict any Brickyard seeing because it's below them, so it won't be in their sightline."

Here's the Tide part of the schedule for this weekend's Easton Bama Bash, which we will have digital coverage of as well as live Radio on MeTV 97.5 and its app:

Friday, Feb. 16 vs St. Thomas, 4 p.m. CT

Friday, Feb. 16 vs. Virginia 6:30 p.m. CT

Saturday, Feb. 17 vs. St. Thomas 11 a.m. CT

Saturday, Feb. 17 vs. Virgina, 1:30 p.m. CT

Sunday, Feb. 18, Southern Indiana, 1 p.m. CT

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Gallery Credit: Mary K

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