The Alabama Crimson Tide punched their ticket to the Women’s College World Series with a 5-2 victory over the Washington Huskies.

A key to Alabama’s success from the plate this season has been the timeliness of their home runs, and it was no different against Washington. With both teams scoreless in the top of the third inning. Freshman catcher Reagan Dykes blasted a two-out three run homer just beyond the reach of Washington center fielder Julia DePonte to put Alabama on the board first. Andrea Hawkins added an RBI single to put a bow on a decisive four-run inning.

Washington responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third thanks to an Ali Aguilar RBI single and a Taylor Van Zee sacrifice fly.

Alabama would score the game’s final run in the top of the sixth inning. With Andrea Hawkins at second, Kallie Case slapped a single into left field. Case got too far off first base resulting in a run down. During the run down, Hawkins alertly raced home to score the Crimson Tide’s fifth run while Case managed to make it back to first.

Similar to game one, Washington let multiple scoring opportunities slip away. The Huskies managed to get Ali Aguilar to the plate with two runners on twice but Alexis Osorio struck her out on both occasions.

Alabama junior pitcher Sydney Littlejohn started game two in impressive fashion as she retired six of the first seven Washington batters through two innings of play. The Huskies knocked Littlejohn out of the game with one out in the bottom of the third inning.

After tossing 156 pitches Friday night, Alexis Osorio slammed the door on Washington’s season as the sophomore right hander fanned eight batters in 4.2 scoreless innings.

After the game, Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy offered special praise for Osorio’s grittiness this season.

“The young lady next to me (Alexis Osorio), she is as gutsy as they come and probably the most resilient kid I’ve ever coached. She is gritty and resilient and just one hell of a pitcher.” Murphy said.

The Crimson Tide will make their 11th trip to Oklahoma City in the program’s 20 seasons of college softball. Patrick Murphy expressed appreciation for how the Alabama fans have embraced college softball.

“I think it’s incredible. I think it’s a great tribute to all the players that have been here for 20 years. All these people on these posters in this media room. It’s hard to imagine starting from scratch and then being there (Oklahoma City) 11 times in 20 years where the football capital of the United States has adopted softball as one of their favorite sports.” Murphy said.

Alabama will face Oklahoma in a rematch from two months ago. The two teams open WCWS play Thursday with a game time yet to be announced.

 

College Softball Notes Around Alabama:

-Auburn fell in game one of their super regional 5-3 to Arizona. Shortstop Mo Mercado went 1-4 with3 RBIs to pace the Wildcats. Auburn has to win both games Sunday to make their second straight trip to Oklahoma City.First pitch for game two Sunday is at 1 PM with the if necessary game at 4 PM. ESPN will air game two while ESPNU will televise a possible game three.