OKLAHOMA CITY – The number two seeded Alabama softball team clubbed three home runs and scored in every inning but the first to down top-seeded California, 5-2, Sunday afternoon at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide will make its first appearance in the Women’s College World Series Championship Series.
Alabama sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina threw a complete game two-hitter, striking out six batters and gave up just two runs as she improved to a school record 40-2 on the year.
Alabama hit three home runs off of Cal pitcher Jolene Henderson, who fell to 38-4 on the year. No team had hit more than two home runs in a single game against her this season.
The Crimson Tide had nine hits on the afternoon, including two apiece by junior Kayla Braud, sophomore Kaila Hunt, and Traina. Hunt drove in two runs, giving her 76 RBI on the year, in addition to hitting 21 home runs.
Alabama got the scoring started early, jumping out to a lead in the bottom of the second inning, when Traina helped herself out with a solo shot to the center field bleachers, putting the Tide up 1-0. It was her 10th home run of the year, and first since May 4.
The Tide added to its lead in the third inning, when Braud led off with a single and reached second on a throwing error. Senior Jennifer Fenton followed up with a single that moved Braud to third, and Hunt hit an infield single that scored Braud, putting Alabama up, 2-0.
After Cal tied things up with a home run, Alabama answered back in the bottom of the fourth with another run. Senior Jazlyn Lunceford led off with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Traina. Senior Kendall Dawson followed up with a single up the middle, scoring Lunceford and putting the Crimson Tide ahead, 3-2.
Alabama added home runs in the fifth and sixth innings, with Hunt’s blast coming in the fifth while Lunceford led off the sixth inning with a solo shot to right field. The home run was the 21st on the season for Hunt and the eighth for Lunceford.
Alabama moves on to play Oklahoma in the championship series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. Game one will be on Monday night at 7 p.m., and will be broadcast on ESPN2.