Alabama Softball Claims 14th-Consecutive NCAA Regional Title With 6-0 Shutout Over Oregon State
Alabama softball secured its 16th NCAA Regional title, including an NCAA-best streak of 14-straight, with a 6-0 shutout over Oregon State Sunday at Rhoads Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide advances to its 14th-straight NCAA Super Regional round.
The regional title is the 16th for Alabama in its 22-year history and its 14th-straight, the longest active streak in Division-I softball. This weekend’s three-game sweep increases the Tide’s regional win streak to 37 games, also an NCAA-best.
Alabama will now advance to its 14th-straight super regional round, continuing its streak as the only team in the country to play in all 14 rounds since its inception in 2005. The Tide will face the winner of the Seattle regional between fifth-seeded Washington and Minnesota. Game dates and times will be announced upon completion of all regional games.
Alabama (36-18), took the first lead of the game over Oregon State (30-28) with a two-run double from sophomore Bailey Hemphill in the first inning. Both teams went down in order until the fifth inning, when the Tide doubled its lead with a pair of RBI singles from sophomore Elissa Brown and senior Demi Turner, who each tallied a pair of hits batting at the top of the order. The final blow came in the top of the sixth, a two-run home run from junior Merris Schroder, before senior Alexis Osorio (15-9) shut the door with a scoreless sixth and seventh to complete the 6-0 win.
Osorio threw 6.1 hitless innings before giving up a lone single in the seventh, striking out nine while holding the Beavers out of the run column. The top of the order was again a catalyst for the Tide offense, with Brown and Turner scoring a combined three runs and Hemphill driving in a pair.
Mother nature struck again before either team could even take the field, with lightning in the area forcing the game to start three hours behind schedule. The delay didn’t slow down the Alabama offense, as Brown drew a four-pitch walk to start the game and Turner followed with a single to left. Freshman Kaylee Tow laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the pair into scoring position and Hemphill drove them both home with a two-run double to the left-field corner, giving Alabama the early 2-0 lead.
From that point on, the two teams cruised through three innings without anyone reaching base before senior Sydney Booker drew a one-out walk in the top of the fifth. She stole second and third base before coming home on a two-out RBI single from Brown. After stealing second, Brown scored a run on an RBI single from Turner with the lead now 4-0.
With a runner at second and two out in the top of the sixth, Schroder went opposite field for a two-run home run to swell the lead to 6-0. With the score the same in the bottom of the seventh, Oregon State knocked a one-out single into left field to break up Osorio’s no-hit bid but a pair of strikeouts ended it.
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