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Alabama Softball defeats Nebraska to advance to the Women’s College World Series

DSC_4574The Alabama Softball team defeats Nebraska in game two of the NCAA Super Regionals on Friday to advance to the Women’s College World Series.  Alabama scored two runs in the first inning but that was all it took for the Tide to earn its 50th win (2-1) and punch their ticket to Oklahoma City.

Alabama’s Kayla Hunt started off the Tide, with two outs in the first, with a single up the middle followed by Jadyn Spencer (batting for Chandler Dare) who reached base after a fielding error which advanced Hunt to third.  Molly Fichtner’s singled bringing in Hunt for the first score of the game and advancing Spencer to second.  Marisa Runyan then singled through the right side allowing Spencer to score from second making it 2-0 in the first.  It was all Alabama needed for the remainder of the game which was put in Jacklyn Traina’s hands on defense. DSC_0205

Jacklyn Traina got her second straight start against the Cornhuskers in the Super Regionals and has a much more dominant outing than the first game in the series.  Traina had three strikeouts, allowed three hits and only walked one batter. “I still had confidence in myself.” Traina said in a post-game interview.  “We worked a lot of the off speed in there today too so it kept them off balance.”   The senior from Naples, FL picks up the win and a 23-3 record on the season.

DSC_4521“I’m so proud of the lady next to me (Jaclyn Traina) because she has gutted out so many performances over the year.  She was much better than yesterday.  Coach Patrick Murphy said. “I know her ball was moving a lot more today.”

The Huskers were never out of the game and fought to stay in it.  They split the score to come within one in the second inning when Austen Urness ground out but allowed MJ Knighten to score from third base.  Like Alabama in the game previously there were several opportunities where Nebraska had players in position to score, but thanks to a strong Alabama defense backing up a very accurate Traina it was as close as the Cornhuskers were going to get.

“This is what we wanted.  We made a decision at the beginning of the year that we are going to get where we want to be.  Before the game, we had a lot of emotions.  I talked to some of the seniors, and we were in the locker room saying ‘this is our last time that we’re going to play at Rhoads Stadium.  We are going to leave it all out there.’  It’s a really special time for us.” Traina said.DSC_0103

Alabama will open play in Oklahoma City on Thursday, May 29. The Tide will face the winner of the Oklahoma vs. Tennessee Super Regional.

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