WORLD SERIES DAY THREE
June 1 2012
The skies cleared, just as the weatherman predicted, and, after a morning of rain, the Hall of Fame grounds crew had the fields ready to play, with the start time pushed back to 615pm.
A rarity in WCWS annals: the top four teams in the last ESPN/USASoftball poll are the four teams who will compete tonight, after victories Thursday:
1. California plays #4 Oklahoma
#2 Arizona State plays #3 Alabama
Arizona State is the defending national champion. Oklahoma and California have previously won WCWS titles.
OKLAHOMA (v) 3, California (H) 0
The Sooners pitcher will be Keilani Ricketts, the National Player of the Year, with a record of 34-7
The Golden Bears pitcher will be Jolene Henderson, 37-2.
The Sooner roster includes several All Americans, including Ricketts, Jessica Shults and Lauren Chamberlain. The Cal roster includes Valerie Arioto, runnerup for player of the year, and AlL American. Arioto was among the players drawing numerous walks (90), and a pre-game question was whether Ricketts would pitch to Arioto. (yes)
Oklahoma is 51-8. California is 57-5.
T1: Casey walked on five pitches. Martinez hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Casey. Martinez stole 2nd. Chamberlain, one of the nation’s premier sluggers with 28 homers, struck out. Ricketts, a feared home run hitter, batting .405, also struck out.
B1: J. Reid struck out. Vonk struck out. Arioto, a .385 hitter with 23 home runs, struck out, thus answering the key pre-game question.
T2. Shults, a .380 hitter with 19 homers, slashed a single to left, first hit of the game. Parsons in to run. Sampson struck out. Turang rounded to D. Henderson at 3rd; her throw to second for the force skipped past the bag, and Parson took 3rd, Turang to 2nd. Norris struck out. Henson worked a 3-2 count, struck out, stranding two runners in scoring position. Henderson now has 5 Ks.
B2. Echevarria walked on four pitches. Williams singled. Kostreba whiffed. D. Henderson looked at a third strike, Ricketts’ fifth. Jones lined out to Casey at 3rd, stranding two.
T3. Top of the OU lineup, Casey walked on a 3-2 count. Martinez singled to left. Chamberlain slugged a double to right center, rbi. Ricketts walked on four pitches, loading the bases, no outs. Shults hit into a fielder’s choice, 3-2, out at home. Sampson, a .202 hitter, hit another fielder’s choice, out at home. Turang, a .366 hitter, grounded to short. OU left bases loaded. Seven batters, 2 hits, 1 run. 2-0.
B3. Cordes fanned. Back to the top of the lineup, J. Reid a slapper struck out. Vonk struck out. Ricketts had struck out the side.
T4. Norris walked. Vest in to run. Henson reached on an error at short. Casey, a .367 hitter, lobbed a high fly to left. Martinez flied out to left. Chamberlain on a 3-2 count, ripped a single up the middle, no score. Bases loaded, Ricketts worked a 3-2 count and walked, rbi, 2-0. Shults hit a deep fly to center. OU has now stranded eight runners.
B4. Arioto went to 3-2, struck out. Echevarria, a .379 hitter, walked. Williams struck out, Ricketts’ tenth. Kostreba looked at a third strike. Ricketts struck out three of the four batters she faced, six of the last seven Bears,
T5. Sampson flied deep to right. Turang struck out. Norris reached on an error by the Cal shortstop, Cordes. Williams, pinch hitting for Henson, ground to short for the force. One left.
B5. D. Henderson looked at a third strike. Jones grounded to Casey at 2nd. Cordes fanned, #13.
T6. Casey jacked a home run to open the 6th. Martinez, Chamberlain and Ricketts failed to hit.3-0.
B6. J Reid ground to 3rd but Chamberlain dropped the throw. Vonk fouled out. With a runner in scoring position, Arioto was issued a pass. The runners advanced to 2nd and 3rd. Echevarria fanned. Williams looked at a third strike. Ricketts 15th. Two stranded.
T7. Shults grounded to 1st. Sampson grounded out. Turang grounded to 3rd.
B7. Decker whiffed. D. Henderson popped to Casey at 2nd. Jones hit a high chopper to left, Cal; second hit. E Reid in to run. Cordes fouled off several pitches, flied out to left. Ricketts had 16 Ks.
Ricketts career best is 19K.
ALABAMA 2, ARIZONA STATE 1
Jackie Traina vs Dallas Escobedo
T1. Braud, Fenton and Hunt down in order.
B1. Boyd flied out. Johnson struck out. Steele walked. Freeman struck out.
T2. Boccia ground out. Locke walked. Traina fanned. Lunceford singled to right, stole 2nd. Dawson with runners on 2nd and 3rd fouled out to 1st.
B2. Lockwood flied deep to right. Parlich walked, Caporuscio lined out to 3rd. Zambrana whiffed.
T3. Conley fanned. Braud and Fenton singled. Hunt hit a deep fly to center. Boccia hit back to Escobedo who bobbled the ball, but recovered to make the throw to 1st.
B3. Arizona State has no hits thru three innings. Haro reached on error at short, stole 2nd. Boyd popped to short. Johnson looked at a third strike. Steele fanned.
T4. Locke singled. Traina sacrificed. Lunceford popped to short. Dawson struck out.
B4. Freeman and Lockwood walked. Parlich singled to right, rbi, the first hit for ASU. Pinch hitter Muniz fanned. Zambrana, 2 on, 1 out, struck out. Haro ground out to 2nd.
T5. Conley bunted/hit. Braud grounded to 3rd, Conley advanced to 2nd. Fenton, a .388 hitter, singled to center, rbi, tying the game. Hunt, a .318hitter with 20 homers, lined to 3rd; 5-6-3 double play.
B5. Boyd lined out on a great catch by Danae Hays at 2nd. Johnson fanned.Steele singled hard to right. Freeman walked on a 3-2 count. Two on, two out, Lockwood grounded to short.
T6. Boccia out. Locke, a .309 hitter with 17 home runs, hit #18, for a 2-1 Bama lead. Traina fanned. Lunceford looked at a third strike.
B6, Parlich flied to right. Caporuscio popped to short. Afusia fanned.
T7. Dawson struck out. Conley walked. Braud reached on an error at 3rd. Fenton, 2 on, 1 out, struck out. Hunt at bat, the runners advanced to 2nd and 3rd on a wild pitch, Hunt struck out. Looked like she was trying to avoid the pitch.
B7. ASU, the defending national champions, now had their backs to the wall. Haro led off with a single to short. Boyd, the most dangerous ASU hitter and a runnerup for Player of the Year, bunted, but an alert defense nailed the lead runner Haro at 2nd. Johnson struck out. Steele worked a 3-2 count; with fans of both teams on their feet, Steele struck out.
Alabama advances to Sunday, while ASU must win twice Saturday to advance.
Session 3, with the nation’s top four ranked teams, drew an audience of 9,209, the largest single session attendance record in World Series history.