Alabama Softball Wins Two Games on Saturday to Clinch WCWS Berth
After losing to Oklahoma 5-2 Friday night, the Alabama softball team needed to win two games without dropping another to advance to the Women's College World Series. Despite Oklahoma's stars playing incredibly during the series, the Crimson Tide were able to overcome and win both games on Saturday to win the Tuscaloosa Super Regional. The win highlighted an amazing weekend for freshman pitchers, as Alabama's Alexis Osorio and Oklahoma's Paige Parker dueled in the all three games.
Alabama forced a third game after winning 2-0 in Game 2 behind Osorio's complete game one-hitter. All of the Tide's runs came on a two-run homer by Jadyn Spencer in the top of the third inning (Alabama was the designated away team for Game 2). In front of an afternoon crowd of just under 4,000 fans at Rhoads Stadium, the Tide kept their hopes alive with tremendous pitching.
But Osorio would need some help to put away the Sooners a second time. Lauren Chamberlain, the home run leader in the NCAA, was on fire for the Sooners in Game 3. She had two home runs, one of which was for two runs, and single-handidly put Oklahoma on top 3-1 as the innings were winding down. By the sixth inning, Sooner pitcher Parker had shown signs of slowing down, but had still managed to record two quick outs. However, some timely hitting loaded the bases before Marisa Runyon came to the plate. The Tide sophomore had been 0-13 against Parker before this at bat, but one swing can change everything.
And boy did it change. Runyon sent a bomb over the right field wall for a grand slam to put the Tide up 5-3. Osorio worked a 1-2-3 top of the seventh to seal the deal for Alabama.
And all nearly 4,000 fans stayed the whole time, nearly six straight hours of softball. The final out elicited an eruption from the fans, who watched a resilient team battle back. The Tide players rewarded their followers by leading them in a "Roll Tide" chant following the win and the proceeding to celebrate in the stands with the fans.
Alabama will now travel to Oklahoma City to participate in the Women's College World Series. Their opening-round game will be against the Michigan Wolverines, a team that twice defeated the Tide handidly earlier this season. Much has changed since then, but the Maize and Blue will still be a tough test for the Tide. But for now, Alabama can celebrate defeating an incredible team in Oklahoma.
Check out the team celebrating after the victory in Game 3: