Everything was going right until, suddenly, it wasn’t.
Alabama freshman right-hander Alexis Osorio (19-8) went five innings through the Oklahoma lineup without giving up a hit. Then, the Sooners got a pinch-hit single. NCAA career home run leader Lauren Chamberlain tied up the game with a two-run home run. A sac fly and a two-run home run later made it 5-2 Sooners.
“I didn’t see anything different,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “She’s always been very focused. I haven’t seen the pitch from the game but I would assume the second home run was not a good pitch, but you gotta stop the bleeding ‘cause that’s a big inning to me, five runs,and usually to me the team that has the big inning is going to end up winning.”
And that’s where game one ended: Sooners 5, Alabama 2.
Osorio ended her night after 6 1/3 innings pitched. She struck out seven, walked four and hit a batter. She gave up four hits in the loss, all of which came in the top of the sixth. Sophomore right-hander Sydney Littlejohn came in with one out in the seventh to retire Chamberlain and Oklahoma senior Shelby Pendley.
Alabama, who had taken a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI double from senior Jadyn Spencer and made it 2-0 on a solo home run from junior Haylie McCleney, worked the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh. The comeback stopped short as Oklahoma freshman left-hander Paige Parker (28-5) struck out home run leader Marisa Runyon.
“I always say, ‘at the very least let’s get the tying run at the plate and let’s see what happens,’ and we had the tying and winning run and most of the time she’s going to come through and she battled,” Murphy said. “It was just a good fight at the end. I wish we would’ve done that for the last three innings instead of just the last inning.”
Six-seed Alabama (45-13) takes on 11-seed Oklahoma (49-7) Saturday at 4 p.m. CT. The Crimson Tide must win that game and a third if-necessary game on Saturday to keep its season alive.
Alabama has been in this situation before. In 2011, the Crimson Tide lost to Stanford 5-2 to open that Super Regional. The team rallied to 10-0 and 1-0 wins to advance to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series.
“The next day, we came out, we had a big crowd, everybody was behind us,” Murphy said. “We stayed out here all day long and won two games, and it was an awesome day. And that’s what we’re going to do tomorrow. We’re going to stay out here as long as we need to and win two games.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports