Softball Recap: Alabama Advances to Regional Final
The Crimson Tide used big plays defensively and at the plate to pull out a victory. Cal’s loaded the bases with one out to start the game and managed a run scoring single first baseman Kobie Pettis, but on that single, Alabama pulled off a pivotal defensive play.
Haylie McCleney threw the ball into shortstop Sydney Booker who tossed a strike to home plate as catcher Reagan Dykes applied the tag on Cal’s Kylie Reed to prevent another run from scoring. The big plays continued for Alabama in the bottom of the third inning as McCleney and Chandler Dare tripled in back-to-back at bats to catapult the Crimson Tide to a 2-1 lead.
Alabama capped off the scoring as Dare doubled home McCleney with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning to provide the eventual margin of victory.
Sidney Littlejohn started the game for Alabama going four innings before giving way to Alexis Osorio. Littlejohn picked up her 23rd win of the season allowing one run on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Osorio picked up where she left off against Samford as the sophomore pitcher fanned seven Cal batters in three scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Alabama will have a rematch of Cal as the Golden Bears slipped past Texas State 4-3 Saturday night. Cal scored two runs in the first and fourth innings to advance to Sunday’s regional final.
In addition to Texas State, Samford closed the book on an historic season Saturday evening in a 2-0 loss to the Bobcats. Samford concluded the 2016 season a program best 40-20.
Alabama and Cal play for a super regional spot Sunday at 1:30 PM.
College Softball Notes Around Alabama
-The North Alabama Lions took home an NCAA Division II national title after defeating Humboldt State 10-1 and 4-1 to win the best of three championship series. It’s the first national title for UNA softball and seventh overall for the school.
-Auburn advances to an NCAA regional final after dispatching USC-Upstate 6-1 Saturday afternoon. The Tigers will face Jacksonville State in a rematch from Friday’s regional opener.
-Jacksonville State reached the regional with a 3-2 win over USC-Upstate late Saturday night but also defeated Oregon State in an instant classic. The Gamecocks and Beavers dueled into the evening as the two teams went into the 14th inning when an Oregon State fielding error brought in the game deciding run in a 5-4 JSU win. Sophomore pitcher Whitney Gillespie fanned 11 batters in 12.1 innings and threw 177 pitches in her outing.
-Alabama State saw their season come to an end with an 8-0 defeat to FAU Saturday in the NCAA Gainesville Regional. The Hornets finish the 2016 season 28-27.