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Alabama Softball Defeats Washington, Advances to its 11th World Series

Alabama softball will be making its 11th trip to the Women’s College World Series after defeating Washington 5-2 in game two of the NCAA Super Regional Sa...
Alabama Crimson Tide_1460868295586.jpg

Alabama softball will be making its 11th trip to the Women’s College World Series after defeating Washington 5-2 in game two of the NCAA Super Regional Saturday afternoon at Rhoads Stadium.

“I’m extremely proud of this team,” Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. “We’ve gone through a lot of adversity this year but they just kept going. The seniors have been terrific leaders on and off the field. Alexis Osorio is as gutsy as they come, she’s one of the most resilient players I’ve ever coached.”

The Women’s College World Series appearance will be the 11th for Alabama (51-12), the most for any SEC team. The Crimson Tide has now won nine of the 12 Super Regional rounds it has played in, including eight of the nine played in Tuscaloosa. The series sweep over Washington (39-15) is the seventh for Alabama in Super Regional play.

Three of Alabama’s five runs came off the bat of Reagan Dykes, who it a three-run home run in the third inning to give the Tide the first lead of the game. Demi Turner and Andrea Hawkins each went 2-3 batting back-to-back in sixth and seventh, scoring one run each. Alabama starter Sydney Littlejohn pitched 2.1 innings in the start while reliever Alexis Osorio (19-6) threw 4.2 shutout relief innings behind her to earn the win, her fourth of the NCAA Tournament.

After throwing 242 pitches over the last two days, Osorio says the fatigue isn’t affecting her.

“I feel pretty great,” Osorio said. “I’m glad we won. It has been good so far and I can’t wait for it to keep going. I know the beginning of the season wasn’t how I wanted it to be but I’m ready to keep going.”

Alabama stranded a runner in scoring position in the first and second innings before finally breaking through with two on and two out in the top of the third on a three-run home run by Dykes to take a quick 3-0 lead. Turner kept the momentum going with a single in the next at-bat and, after stealing second, she was driven home on an RBI single by Hawkins to make it 4-0 with Hawkins advancing to second on the throw home. That ended Taran Alvelo’s outing in the circle as game one starter Madi Schreyer entered in relief and induced a groundout to end the half-inning.

Washington’s Julia DePonte earned the Huskies’ first hit of the day with a leadoff double in the bottom of the third and, after moving to third base on a sacrifice bunt, was driven home on an RBI single by Ali Aguilar. Kimberlee Souza followed with a single to right field and Alabama turned to its bullpen with Osorio entering to pitch with runners at the corners and one out. A sacrifice fly to left field scored Washington’s second run of the inning and a fly ball following a two-out walk ended the inning with Alabama’s lead cut to two.

With Hawkins at second base and two outs in the top of the sixth, Kallie Case dropped a single into left field and looked to be caught in a rundown but got out of it safely as Hawkins was able to score on the play as well, making it 5-2. The Huskies would bring the potential tying run to the plate in the bottom of the sixth with two outs but would end the game on four-consecutive strikeouts as Alabama clinched its 11th WCWS appearance with the 5-2 win.

Alabama will open play at the Women’s College World Series on Thursday, June 2 against No. 3 Oklahoma (52-7). Game times and broadcast information will be determined at a later date.