|Super Regional RESULTS
|Washington 1, Missouri 0
|Tennessee 3, Alabama 2
|Oklahoma 10, Texas A&M 2
TARANGO’S KEY HIT LIFTS TENNESSEE PAST ALABAMA, 3-2
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A key two-out, two-run single by Cheyanne Tarango and strong efforts in the circle from both Renfroe sisters led Tennessee to a 3-2 win over defending national champion Alabama in the opening game of the NCAA Super Regional in front of a capacity crowd of 1,650 at Lee Stadium on Friday.
Ellen Renfroe allowed just two runs on three hits while striking out six in 3.2 innings before handing the ball over to her older sister. Ivy Renfroe then proceeded to spin 3.1 frames of shutout relief to earn the win and improve to 20-4 on the year. The two Lady Vols combined to strand nine Alabama runners on base in the contest.
Jackie Traina (19-7) suffered the loss for the Crimson Tide (45-14) as the Big Orange (48-10) scored three runs - one earned - off of her on four hits over 6.0 innings of work.
Alabama struck the opening blow, getting an RBI single in the top of the second, but Hannah Akamine answered right back with a solo shot to left-center, her third home run of the season, in the home half of the frame to tie the game up at 1-1.
The Crimson Tide looked as if it would regain the lead in the third, using a throwing error, a walk and a bloop single to load the bases with just one out but Ellen Renfroe was able to buckle down, striking out the next two batters swinging to escape unscathed.
A similar situation ensued in Tennessee's turn at bat, with a pair of four-pitch walks and an Alabama error loading the bases with only one out once again. Traina was able to put another out on the board with a strikeout but Tarango followed by ripping a 3-1 pitch to the gap in right-center for a two-run single that give her team a 3-1 lead.
The back-and-forth battle continued into the fourth as the Tide put two on with two outs, prompting UT to bring Ivy Renfroe in from the bullpen. She was greeted rudely though with Haylie McCleney scorching an RBI double off the wall in right that cut the Lady Vol lead to just one. A tremendous diving play by Raven Chavanne at third ending the inning, however, leaving two Alabama runners stranded in scoring position.
From there it was all Ivy Renfroe as she retired nine of the final 11 batters of the game to give Tennessee its third win over Alabama in four attempts this season.
MISSOURI COMES UP SHORT AGAINST WASHINGTON, 1-0
COLUMBIA, Mo. – On a cool late-spring afternoon at University Field, Missouri Tiger softball came just short of the program’s seventh Women’s College World Series, losing to the Washington Huskies, 1-0, in game two of its NCAA Super Regional matchup. The loss, which brings the Tigers’ season to a close, was in large part due to a strong pitching performance by the Huskies, who threw a combined two-hitter.
Mizzou starter Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa) was valiant in defeat, also throwing a two-hitter and allowing only one run in 7.0 innings. Despite her strong performance on the mound, the Tiger bats fell silent, and Washington, on the back of a Victoria Hayward leadoff solo home, run was able to claim victory – and a berth in the Women’s College World Series.
Fresh off last night’s eight inning, 2-1 loss, the resilient Tigers looked to pounce on the Huskies early. In the top of the first, following a Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo) walk, Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo) hit a rocket to deep left center field that seemed destined for the outfield bleachers - only to be robbed by Washington CF Kylee Lahners -- who flashed some amazing leather to pull back the would-be two-run homer. The Huskies then showed some firepower of their own when in the bottom of the first, Victoria Hayward hit a solo home run to deep right which gave Washington an early 1-0 lead. It was all the Huskies needed.
The Tigers best chance to crack the Huskies came in the top of the sixth inning, when Walker’s bid for a no-hitter was broken up after freshman 2B Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.) hit a hard line drive back to the mound that bounced off of the Washington pitcher’s glove for a base hit. Senior catcher Jenna Marston (St. Louis, Mo.) then dug in and smacked a laser up the middle to advance Crane, putting runners on first and second.
The sequence forced Washington head coach Heather Tarr into a pitching change and Kaitlin Inglesby came on to the mound in relief. After retiring Hudson on a ground-out, Sykes hit a soft ground ball to third that allowed Crane and Marston to advance. With two outs and runners in scoring position, sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth (Yorba Linda, Calif.) came to the plate, however the usually reliable Roth was only able to muster another soft groundball that Washington easily disposed of to end the inning.
Washington again looked dangerous in the bottom of the sixth inning with the top of the order hitting. Hayward forced a walk and following a sacrifice bunt by Hooch Fagaly, Inglesby fresh off her clutch pitching performance, hit a hard ground ball to Genovese to move Hayward to second. Despite being called out initially, Hayward, was awarded first base after home plate umpire Rick Boyer determined that Roth had lifted her foot off the bag. Only a fantastic play by sophomore SS Corrin Genovese (East Amherst, N.Y.) who fired home following a hard hit ground ball to the gap on the ensuing at bat saved a run for the Tigers, keeping the Washington lead to a single run.
In their last at-bat, the Tigers went down in three batters to send the Huskies to Oklahoma City and their eleventh WCWS appearance in program history.
Oklahoma Defeats Texas A&M In Game One of Super Regional, 10-2
NORMAN, Okla. – No. 1 Oklahoma (51-4) used a seven-run sixth to open up a tight game and defeat No. 16-seed Texas A&M (42-17), 10-2 in six innings, Friday evening in the NCAA Norman Super Regional opener on ESPN.
A&M and OU will rematch tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN in the second game of the best-of-three series. An A&M victory in game two would force a third game, set for a 2 p.m. start on ESPN.
The Aggies battled throughout the game and came within one run of the Sooners before seven runs by OU in the bottom of the sixth ended the game in a walk-off run rule. Senior Meagan May and freshman Cali Lanphear each had solo home runs for A&M.
The Sooners drew first blood in the bottom of the first when a base hit through the right side sent a runner home from second for the 1-0 lead.
After the Aggies suffered five-straight strikeouts at the hands of OU ace Keilani Ricketts, junior Cassie Tysarczyk drew a four-pitch walk in the top of the second to become the first A&M runner on base.
OU added two more runs on a pair of doubles in the bottom of the inning to stretch to a 3-0 lead over A&M.
May took matters into her own hands and led off in the top of the third with a solo home run over left field to narrow the score to 3-1 in the Sooners’ favor. The blast was May’s fifth of the NCAA Tournament.
Lanphear used her 21st home run of the season to narrow the score to 3-2 in the top of the fourth. The solo shot cleared the complex over right to bring the Aggies within one run of the Sooners.
After a three-up, three-down top-of-the-fifth for A&M, OU loaded the bags in the bottom of the inning. A&M hurler Mel Dumezich worked the final batter of the half-inning to a full count before catching the OU hitter looking for the third out and the Aggie ace’s fifth strikeout of the day.
Junior Emily Albus had the Aggies’ first in-the-park hit of the day in the top of the sixth when she reached with a one-out infield single. The speedster was left stranded through the three-strikeout half-inning, however, and the Sooners maintained their one-run lead. Albus was just the second base runner of the day for A&M.
The match-up entered the bottom of the sixth with OU leading just 3-2, but the floodgates opened for the Sooners and the Aggies couldn’t stop the bleeding.
A leadoff walk and a pair of base hits loaded the bases as the second walk of the inning forced the 4-2 run home. Two more bases-loaded walks made the score 6-2 before a wild pitch sent the fourth run of the inning across the plate. With runners on second and third, Ricketts went yard over left for the 10-2 walk-off run-rule.
The Oklahoma hurler (30-1) earned her 30th win of the season after fanning 13 batters on the night and allowing two runs on three hits through five innings. Dumezich (27-9) suffered the loss after allowing eight earned runs on six hits and seven walks while fanning five.