|Super Regional RESULTS
|Oklahoma 8, Texas A&M 0
|Tennessee 5, Alabama 3
|Florida 4, UAB 3
|Arizona State 5, Kentucky 4
Aggies End 2013 Season at Norman Super Regional
NORMAN, Okla. – The 16th-seeded Texas A&M softball team’s (42-18) season came to an end in the NCAA Super Regional as No. 1 seed Oklahoma (52-4) took an 8-0 five-inning win to advance to the Women’s College World Series for the eighth time in history.
This marks the fifth Super Regional appearance for the Aggies and the 24th trip to the NCAA Tournament, including 12 straight under Head Coach Jo Evans. A&M also picked up its eighth 40-win season with Evans at the helm in 2013. The Aggies began the season with the program’s best start at 19-0.
A&M put up three hits on the Sooners in game two of the Super Regional, and drew one hit-by-pitch, but three runners were left on base and the Aggies were unable to send a run across the plate.
An early solo home run over right-centerfield by OU’s Shelby Pendley pushed the Sooners out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
A&M got two aboard in the bottom of the first on a zinger down the left-field line by junior Jenna Stark and a single through the left side by junior Emily Albus. Both runners were stranded after two straight strikeouts.
Junior Cassie Tysarczyk reached in the bottom of the second when she placed a base hit in the perfect gap in centerfield, but a double play ended the inning.
OU stretched its lead to 4-0 in the top of the third when Pendley went yard again, plating three runs on the play.
In the top of the fourth, the Sooners scored four runs with two outs for the 8-0 lead after loading the bases on a single, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. OU pitcher Keilani Ricketts hit a two-RBI double and tried to score on an RBI single to right, but Tysarczyk zipped a ball home from right and senior Meagan May applied the tag to end the inning.
Sophomore Lauren Ainsley entered the circle in the top of the fourth to finish the game for the Aggies and forced the Sooners through a three-up, three-down top-of-the-fifth to give A&M a chance to rally.
In the final half-inning, Dumezich took a pitch to the body with two outs to reach first, but Ricketts fanned the final batter to end the Aggies’ 2013 season at the Super Regional level.
Dumezich (27-10) struck out three batters and allowed eight earned runs on six hits through 3 2/3 innings of work in the circle. Ricketts (31-1) tossed seven strikeouts and gave up three hits in the five-inning shutout.
Three Aggie seniors ended their collegiate careers in Norman today – May, Dumezich and Sydney Shannon left their cleats on home plate after the game, and left their legacy on the Aggie softball team. Dumezich is a two-time All-American and holds the A&M record for games played at 230 and May, a 2010 All-American, owns the Aggie career records for home runs (69) and RBI (189) and the single-season record for home runs (24). Shannon graduated earlier this month.
TENNESSEE DEFEATS ALABAMA, 5-3; UT PUNCHES 6TH TICKET TO THE WCWS
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee and Alabama put on a quite a show in a nationally-televised matchup on Saturday as the Lady Vols rallied from a three-run deficit to punch their sixth ticket the Women's College World Series with a 5-3 triumph over the Crimson Tide in front of a sold-out crowd.
"First of all, I'm extremely happy and extremely proud to coach the Tennessee Lady Vols," Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "For the seniors, to go to the World Series three out of four years they were here is a fantastic achievement. I'm just really proud of our kids. It's all about them. Coaches, they don't play. They don't throw balls. They don't hit balls. They don't run. They just coach. These kids did all of it and all of the credit goes to them.
Tickets for the 2013 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City are available through NCAA.com/WCWS and or by phone at 1-866-208-0048.
The Lady Vols (49-10) combined for three sacrifice flies in a gritty game where five different players stepped up with key RBI knocks. Melissa Brown went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Tory Lewis went 2-for-2 with one walk and one run.
Ivy Renfroe (21-4) earned the win after striking out four over four frames and allowed three runs. Cheyanne Tarango, pitching in a game for the first time since April 20 at Ole Miss, tossed a scoreless fifth in relief. Ellen Renfroe rang up three strikeouts over two scoreless relief frames to earn the save.
Jackie Traina (19-8) tossed 5.1 innings with four runs allowed and one strikeout. Leslie Jury threw 1.2 relief frames with one earned run allowed.
The game didn't start out very cleanly as both teams combined for four errors. Alabama, which was the designated home team, jumped ahead, 2-0, in the bottom of the first. Kayla Braud had a leadoff single down the left field line and advanced to second on a throwing error from left field and then to third on a wild pitch in the next at-bat. Haylie McCleney reached on an infield single and stole second base, giving the Crimson Tide two runners in scoring position with no outs. Two batters later, Molly Fichtner knocked a two-run single and advanced on the throw to give Alabama the lead.
In the bottom of the second, Alabama struck again. With the bases loaded and one out, McCleney reached on a fielder's choice as Tory Lewis lost and dropped a fly ball in the sun, but got the force out at second base. Danae Hays scored on the play and Alabama's lead grew to 3-0.
Tennessee, which had left one runner one base in the first and one on base in the second, came to life in the top of the third. Lewis knocked a leadoff single down the left field line and Raven Chavanne reached on an sac bunt and fielding error at third. Lauren Gibson followed with a single to center to load the bases. Madison Shipman came up big with a sacrifice fly to center field that plated Lewis.
In the top of the fourth, Tennessee knotted the game at 3-3. Kat Dotson hit a leadoff single up the middle and Brown followed with a single to left. Rainey Gaffin stepped up with a sac fly to center field to bring UT to within 3-2. Hannah Akamine drew a walk on a full count and Jennifer Burroughs pinch ran. A passed ball put two Lady Vols in scoring position. Lewis drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch to load the bases. Chavanne followed with an RBI single to center field to even the game.
In the top of the fifth, the Lady Vols pulled ahead. Shipman hit a leadoff double to left field. Two batters later, Kat Dotson scored Shipman from third base with a sac fly to center field.
Tarango replaced Ivy Renfroe in the bottom of the fifth after Braud drew a leadoff walk. Tarango issued a five-pitch walk to McCleney, but with two runners on, the sophomore hurler was fantastic. Using a variety of pitches, Tarango induced a flyout to center, an infield fly to first and a lineup to short to escape unscathed.
Jury replaced Traina in the top of the sixth with one on and one out. Lewis used her speed to leg out a single back to the pitcher. Jury left two UT runners stranded with a strikeout and a lineout to short to end the inning.
Ellen Renfroe relieved Tarango to start the bottom of the sixth. Danielle Richard was hit by a pitched and advanced to second on a sac bunt, but Ellen Renfroe prevented the tying run from getting any closer with a strikeout and a flyout to center.
UT added one more run to give it a two-run advantage in the top of the seventh. With one out, Tarango drew a walk on eight pitches. Whitney Hammond pinch ran for Tarango and stole second base in her final game in Lee Stadium. Fellow senior Brown followed with an RBI double up the middle to plate Hammond and push Tennessee's lead to 5-3.
Gator Softball Walks Off, 4-3, Against UAB in NCAA Super Regional Opener
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In a back-and-forth battle in the NCAA Softball Gainesville Super Regional opener, the No. 2 Gators (56-7) used a sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh for the win, as Florida took a 4-3 decision over UAB (40-18) in front of 1,691 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium to inch one game closer to its fifth Women’s College World Series appearance.
The Gators entered the bottom of the seventh down, 3-2, and rallied as they’ve done all season, first taking advantage of two straight walks and a hit by pitch to load the bases before sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) was pegged with a relief pitcher Leigh Streetman offering for the equalizer, 3-3. Following a Gator strikeout for one down, Medina dropped a 0-1 Streetman offering in shallow left field over the UAB shortstop’s head to plate the game-winning run in walk-off fashion, UF’s sixth walkoff of 2013.
For Medina, the clutch hit was her first game-winner for the Gators this season, joining 11 other teammates who have clinched a victory for the Orange and Blue in 2013 by knocking in the game-winning RBI.
The Gators and Blazers will meet again at noon Sunday on ESPN, with Jeanne Zelasko and Cheri Kempf on the call, as Florida will look to clinch its fifth Super Regional for the right to head to Oklahoma City for what would be the fifth time in the last six years. The ‘if necessary’ game is scheduled for 3 p.m. should UAB even the series at noon.
Florida’s come-back-win Saturday marked its 21st come from behind, after Florida trailed heading into the bottom of both the fifth and seventh innings. The Gators took advantage of six walks and four hit by pitches, while freshman second baseman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) swiped two bags for 36 on the year to improve her single-season school record. Little’s RBI hit by pitch in the bottom of the seventh extended her single-season HBP record to 19.
Junior ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) got it done in the circle for the Gators Saturday (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) to improve to 32-5. Rogers started the game with a strikeout and retired the Blazers in order in the third and fourth innings en route to her 96th career victory at Florida.
After a scoreless first frame for both squads, UAB jumped out to a 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the top of the second after an uncharacteristic Gator error that allowed the Blazers’ leadoff runner to scamper home for the 1-0 advantage. Florida evened things up, though, in the bottom of the third on a junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) RBI single that plated Stewart from second for a 1-1 ballgame.
A feisty Blazers squad used a Whitney Fletcher RBI single to right field in the top of the fifth to capitalize on two straight two-out hits for UAB, as Fletcher’s base hit put the Blazers ahead for the second time Saturday, this time 2-1.
Again, Florida battled back, evening things in the home half of the fifth stanza, courtesy of a senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) bases-loaded hit by pitch. A Gator two-out rally juiced the bags after a freshman Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) hit by pitch, followed by Tofft’s second hit of the day and sophomore Lauren Haeger’s (Peoria, Ariz.) infield single. Horton plated Merritt for a 2-2 game, but a groundout next retired the side before UF could take advantage of the situation.
The Gators put the pressure on again in the bottom of the sixth after a leadoff walk from Little, followed by a freshman Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) single through the left side as Florida chased starter Lannah Campbell (5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K) from the circle in favor of Streetman. Sophomore pinch hitter Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) walked to load the bases, but Streetman was effective with a fielder’s choice to eliminate UF’s lead runner, followed by two of her three strikeouts on the afternoon to halt the threat.
UAB then worked to regain the lead in the top of the seventh after a two-out rally of its own when Kristen McGrath sent a ball over Medina at shortstop with runners on first and second for the 3-2 Blazers lead. UF didn’t buckle under the pressure in the final half inning of regulation, instead the Gators buckled down, milking Streetman for four straight free passes in the bottom of the seventh in form of two walks, and two HBP to tie the game before Medina’s one-out walk-off heroics for the 4-3 Florida win.
Streetman (1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K) earned the decision in the circle for the Blazers, moving to 13-8 on the season. Six different Gator bats came alive Saturday, paced by Tofft’s 2-for-4 performance. Likewise, six different Blazers found the hits column.
Stokes, Cumbess, O’Brien Hit Bombs as UK Drops Opener 5-4
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Freshman infielder Christian Stokes blasted two solo home runs, while junior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess and senior outfielder Alice O’Brien each added solo shots against Arizona State’s Dallas Escobedo, who entered the game having not allowed an earned run in 31 consecutive innings, but it wasn’t enough as No. 5 ASU scored three runs in the third and two in the fifth to take game one of the Tempe Super Regional, 5-4 on Saturday night at Farrington Stadium.
Day two of the Tempe Super Regional will start Sunday at 5 p.m. ET with game two of the best-of-three set on ESPN. Kentucky will be the home team in the game. An if necessary game three of the series will be played at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN2. Both games will be available on WatchESPN.
Fans can also hear every game of the Tempe Super Regional on the UK/IMG Sports Radio Network with Dick Gabriel calling the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the game on 630AM WLAP while it will also be available online at UKathletics.com.
Kentucky (41-20) had a great night offensively in the game, blasting four solo home runs. The four-homer night marked the most in a single NCAA Tournament game in school history for Kentucky. Stokes was the leader at the dish, going 2-for-3 with her sixth and seventh home runs of the season. The native of Chesterfield, S.C., becomes the second player in school history to hit two home runs in a NCAA Tournament game.
Cumbess and O’Brien also had roundtrippers in the game with Cumbess blasting her team-leading 13th home run of the season – which ranks tied for third most in a single-season in school history – while O’Brien launched her eighth of the season. Freshmen infielder Nikki Sagermann and outfielders Maisie Steed and Sylver Samuel also had singles in the game as UK outhit the Sun Devils 7-5. Defensively, UK was solid, not committing an error in the game.
Freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley got the start in the circle, throwing all six innings, allowing five runs – all earned – on five hits with two walks and a strikeout. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., now sits 27-10 on the season with a 2.06 ERA.
Arizona State started Escobedo in the circle, who entered the game having not allowed an earned run in 31 consecutive innings. That streak was snapped in the fifth inning when Stokes hit her first of the season. Overall, Escobedo threw six innings, allowing four runs – all earned – on seven hits with two strikeouts. Mackenzie Papescue pitched the seventh inning, giving up a two-out walk before getting Cumbess to groundout to end the threat and earn the save. Escobedo got the win to move to 29-4.
Offensively, ASU was paced by shortstop Cheyenne Coyle, who went 1-for-2 with a three-run home run and sacrifice fly for four RBI. Leadoff hitter Alix Johnson was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI triple, while Baily Wigness was 1-for-1 with two runs scored.
Arizona State (49-10) started the scoring in the game, getting a three-run home run by Cheyenne Coyle in the third inning. After a one-pitch out to start the frame, Wigness hit an infield single, moving into scoring position on a single to leftfield by Johnson. That set the stage for Coyle, who lined a home run to leftfield that just got over the wall to put the Sun Devils up 3-0. Nunley got two popups to end the frame.
Kentucky got on the board in the fifth inning when Stokes crushed her sixth home run of the season well over the wall in centerfield. After a groundout to start the frame, Stokes put UK on the board with a solo shot to centerfield. Steed then tried to keep the rally alive with a single through the left side of the infield, before Dill reached on an error to put runners on first and second for Joiner, who popped up to end the threat.
The Sun Devils answered back with two runs in the fifth inning. After a leadoff walk to start the inning, Johnson hit a triple to the wall in left-centerfield to score a run and make it 4-1 ASU. Coyle then drove in her fourth RBI of the night with a sacrifice fly to leftfield before Nunley got a flyout and a lineout to end the frame.
UK clawed itself back into the game in the sixth inning, hitting three solo home runs to cut the Arizona State lead to 5-4. Cumbess started the inning with a leadoff homer, before O’Brien hit a laser just fair to rightfield with one out to make it 5-3. Stokes then cut the ASU lead to 5-4 with her second homer of the night to left-centerfield.