*Courtesy Alabama Media Relations*
TUSCALOOSA, Ala . - Former All-SEC and Academic All-American catcher Molly Fichtner will enjoy a continued role with Alabama Softball this season, as she joins the staff as the new volunteer assistant coach.
"I am so honored to be the volunteer assistant coach this year for such an elite softball team," said Fichtner. "Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of playing for the very best coaches in the nation. [Former volunteer assistant] Adam Arbour has left a great legacy here at Alabama and I know I'll have big shoes to fill."
Fichtner spent the previous two seasons as Alabama's starting catcher after transferring from UT-San Antonio following the 2012 season. Over those two years, Fichtner appeared in 102 games, starting 88. This past season, she was named Second Team All-SEC after leading the Crimson Tide with a .391 average in conference play, knocking in 27 hits, seven doubles and 16 RBI. She threw out a conference-leading seven would-be base stealers and suffered just two errors in 125 chances with no passed balls behind the dish for a .984 fielding percentage in SEC play.
This year, she was also named a Capital One Academic All-American, boasting a perfect 4.0 GPA as part of a program-record class of four Academic All-Americans along with Kaila Hunt, Haylie McCleney and Ryan Iamurri.
"Wearing the Alabama jersey has been such an honor," said Fichtner, "and now to be a part of the coaching team is yet another dream come true. I am looking forward to working alongside all of the coaches and support staff and learning a lot from a coaching and management perspective.
"I am thrilled to be a part of the coaching team and I am looking forward to another incredible year with the Alabama Softball family!"
"We are all very pleased that Molly decided to stay with our program as our new volunteer coach," said Head Coach Patrick Murphy. "She brought great energy and enthusiasm as a player and we can't wait to see what she will bring to our coaching staff.
"She was one of the most gracious kids we've ever had in our program's history. I think she is going to work her way up the ladder to become a great Division I softball coach."
Fichtner joins a coaching staff that was named the 2014 NFCA South Region Coaching Staff of the Year, marking the ninth time the Crimson Tide staff has won the award. Returning this season are Murphy, Associate Head Coach Alyson Habetz and Assistant Coach Stephanie VanBrakle. Former volunteer assistant Adam Arbour completed his master's degree at Alabama and is now the new assistant coach at the University of Iowa.