Alabama (48-11) will be moving on to the NCAA Super Regionals after dispatching South Alabama (42-14) 3-0 in the Tuscaloosa Regional Championship. After a weekend of cleaning house, the Crimson Tide was put to the test and faced a tough defense to claim the Regional Championship. The #2 seed will be 1 of 16 teams moving on the Super Regionals and is setting a NCAA record with their 10th consecutive appearance.
The rolling Tide offense that had 20 runs in its first two games of the weekend was limited by skilled Jaguar pitchers that allowed just 3 runs off 5 hits. The problem for USA was they could not score more than Alabama’s three, or any runs for that matter. The Tide defense played an outstanding game to shut out the Jaguars, and Jaclyn Traina (22-3) played magnificently, throwing 11 strikeouts, her first double-strikeout day since February.
The game started scoreless in the first, but Alabama took an early 2-0 lead in the 2nd Traina was walked and Grantham followed with a single. After a pop-up fly out to second, Haylie McCleney took the plate. McCleney rocketed a triple to center field and Hays (who ran for Traina) and Grantham crossed home plate. The inning was over at 2-0 when Case flied out to infield. The next run scored in the game came in the 5th bunt and was able to advance to second off a pitching error. She moved to third of a McCleney ground out to first, and moved into scoring position. When Hunt singled down the 1f line, Richard took home, unearned. The score improved to 3-0. No more runs were scored in the game, and South Alabama’s last chance ended quickly in the 7th.
An impressive weekend for the Tide ended with victory and another regional championship. Patrick Murphy said, “I hope I don’t see them again in regionals, but They are definitely going to be back because they are just too good. I thought (Jaclyn Traina) was awesome today. Other than maybe the first inning, she was very, very good. It’s one of the few times all year that she has pitched back to back. Hopefully the periods of rest have helped her. We can’t wait to see what happens the rest of today and next weekend.”Alabama now advances to its 10th to not miss an appearance since the round’s inception in 2005. The Tide will host the round and it will be the Tide’s seventh time hosting the Super Regionals. Alabama has hosted the Super Regionals for six out of the past seven years. The Tide will take on Nebraska, who defeated Missouri in the Columbia Regional Championship. Dates and times for next weekend’s Super Regional Tournament will be announced early in the week, starting on Thursday or Friday. consecutive Super Regionals, and is the only program
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