Alabama Rallies to Take First Softball Title
OKLAHOMA CITY - The
Alabama softball team claimed its first national championship in
program history as it downed Oklahoma, 5-4, Wednesday night at ASA Hall
of Fame Stadium.
"First, I just want to say thank you to
everybody involved with the tournament," Alabama head coach Patrick
Murphy said. "It was a heck of a run for us, a dream-come true for
everybody at Alabama, and I've got to congratulate Oklahoma on a heck
of a year. I definitely think they'll be back."
With the win,
Alabama won the best-of-three series against the Sooners, 2-1, and
finished the season, 60-8. The Crimson Tide becomes the first school
from the Southeastern Conference to ever win a national title in
softball. Oklahoma ends their season with a 54-10 record.
us, I don't think it's sunk in yet," Murphy added. "It's been a long
time coming. It's just been an incredible nine or ten days here in
Oklahoma City, and each game just got better and better and better. I'm
just thrilled with the championship."
pitcher Jackie Traina earned the win and finished 42-3 on the season.
Traina, who was named the WCWS Most Outstanding Player, threw a
complete game four-hitter, giving up four runs and striking out six
batters. The 42 wins for Traina are a school record and are tops in the
nation. She also broke the single season school record, posting 361
punchouts on the year.
The Tide overcame two rain delays,
including a three hour delay to start the game and a three-run deficit
to earn the win. UA tallied three of its four runs in the fourth inning
after the second delay.
Oklahoma used two home runs to race out
to an early three run lead after three innings but the Tide plated four
in the fourth. Sophomore Kaila Hunt scored the first run for Alabama on
a wild pitch and then the Tide scored three more, all with two outs.
Amanda Locke ripped a single through the left side to score senior
Kendall Dawson. Junior Courtney Conley then hit a double off the wall
to score Locke. Conley finished off the scoring by racing to the plate
on a throwing error on a Jazlyn Lunceford at bat.
UA scored its
fifth and final run when Traina hit a liner into right to score senior
Jennifer Fenton, who started the inning with a bunt single.
hit a seventh inning home run to pull within one, but Traina fanned USA
Player of the Year, Keilani Ricketts for the final out of the game.
Dawson tallied two of the seven hits for the Tide as the first four hitters atop the Alabama lineup each collected hits.
Kayla Braud, Fenton, Locke and Traina all earned WCWS All-Tournament
team honors. Traina led the Tide with a .400 (6-for-15) average over
the course of the tournament, pacing the squad with a home run and six
RBI. Fenton and Braud each collected eight hits while Locke batted .333
with a home run and five RBI.
Alabama reached the 60-win mark
for just the third time in school history. The 60 wins in 2012 are the
most since the 63 wins in 2005.