First round.best of three.
OKLAHOMA 4, ALABAMA 1
OU won the WCWS in 2000. Alabama is making its first trip to the final, which has never been won by a team from the SEC. Oklahoma is on an 11-game winning streak and led the nation with 98 home runs. The Sooners are led by Collegiate Player of the Year Keilani Ricketts. Alabama is led by ace pitcher Jackie Traina. The Tide racked 75 homers during the season. Oklahoma reached the final by defeating THE 2011 champion, Arizona State. Alabama reached the final by defeating California, which had been ranked #1 in national polls much of the season.
Pitchers Keilani Ricketts 36-7. 0.99 ERA. Jackie Traina 40-21. 1,70 ERA.
T1. Casey looked at a third strike. Martinez blooped a single into left. Chamberlain , a .355 hitter with 28 home runs, singled to left. Ricketts, a .399 hitter with 16 homers, hit a fly ball deep to the left field fence. Shults, a .382 hitter with 19 dingers, flied out to Hays at 2nd.
B1. Braud, on a 3-2 count, watched a strike go by. Fenton, a .389 slapper, struck out. Hunt who led Bama with 21 homers struck out. Ricketts had struck out the side, hitting 69-71 mph, 58 change.
T2. Norris, a .323 hitter who has homered in the Series, singled to right. Turang, a .456 sjapper, slapped a single into left. Sampson sacrificed, runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out. Henson attempted to bunt, struck out. Top of the lineup, Casey , the Aussie import, who hit .360 for OU with 10 homers, KO’d. OU had stranded four runners.
B2. Traina, a .309 hitter with 10 homers, walked. Boccia fanned. Locke whiffed. Dawson, who oulled off a trick play, a pick at 1st which stymied a Cal rally, hit back to Ricketts.
T3. Martinez opened with her second single. Chamberlain lined out to Boccia at 1st. Ricketts lined out to Hays at 2nd, who dropped the ball trying for the force. Shults dribbled weakly to 1st. OU 5 hits, 5 runners. Traina was hitting 67-68mph.
B3. Conley flied out to right. Lunceford lined to Ricketts but Chamberlain dropped the ball at 1st when Lunceford collided. Braud, a .356 hitter, singled to right, the first hit off Ricketts, but a superb throw by Sampson nailed Lunceford at 3rd. Fenton, the Tide’s best hitter at .389, singled. Hunt, who has 21 homers, struck out, stranding two.
T4. Norris looked at a third strike. Turang beat out an infield hit to 3rd. Sampson at bat, Turang was caught stealing. Sampson walked. Henson doubled to the wall, the runner held at 3rd. Casey , two on, two out, worked a 3-2 count, walked. Bases loaded. Martinez , 2 for 2, who has not homered all season, flied out to center, leaving bases loaded. OU had now stranded eight runners.
B4. Traina singled to left, third hit off Ricketts. Boccia hbp. Locke, two on, no outs, runners advanced to 2nd and 3rd on a wild pitch, Ricketts looking vulnerable and Coach Gasso to the mound; Locke fouled off several pitches, struck out, Ricketts’ seventh. Dawson sac fly to right, Bama up 1-0. Conley hbp. Lunceford struck out, Ricketts’ eighth.
T5. Chamberlain , 3-2 count, walked. Ricketts singled to left, Chamberlain was safe at 3rd. Shults sac fly, score tied. Vandever in to run. Norris singled to left, runners at the corners. Turang forced Norris at 2nd, the go-ahead run scored. Sampson doubled to the wall in center. Henson, runners at 2nd and 3rd, two out, walked, loading the bases. Casey , bases loaded, two out, grounded out, stranding 3 more, five for Casey, eleven for the Sooners.
B5. Braud flied out. Fenton singled. Hunt out. Traina fanned,
T6. Martinez reached on a throwing error by Hays at 2nd. Chamberlain struck out. Ricketts reached on an error at 2nd. Shults, runners at the corners, Ricketts stole 2nd. Singled to left, 3-1. Norris, runners at the corners, squeezed home a run by Ricketts,, 4-1, on a bunt which travelled 3 feet, out at 1st. Turang fouled out. OU now had 11 hits. One more left.
B6. Boccia at 3-2 lined out to short. Locke whiffed. Dawson singled to right. Conley reached on an error at short by Vest. Two on, but two out, Branham pinch hit and struck out, stranding two. Ricketts now had 11 strikeouts.
T7. The Sooners had 11 hits, Ricketts had 11 Ks, but 12 runners left. Sampson out. Henson , 3-2, looked at a third strike. Casey flied to 2nd.
B7. Top of the Bama lineup. Braud tried to bunt, struck out. Fenton ground out to 3rd. Hunt flied out to left. End of game
Despite stranding 11 runners, the Sooners packaged 2 runs in the 5th and 2 in nthe 6th, while Ricketts notched 12 Ks to ensure the victory.
Oklahoma is one win from its second national championship. Alabama faces the daunting task of beating Oklahoma twice.
Championship Series Game 1: Oklahoma 4, Alabama 1
- No. 4 Oklahoma defeated No. 2 Alabama, 4-1, in the first game of the 2012 WCWS Championship Series. The Sooners are one win away from their second national championship (first was in 2000).
- OU and Alabama entered the game tied for the nation’s longest active winning streak at 11 games. Nine of the Sooners’ 12 wins during their streak have come in the postseason. OU has outscored its nine postseason opponents 62-10.
- OU junior pitcher Keilani Ricketts struck out 12 Alabama batters, her 26th game this season (fifth straight) of fanning at least 10. Ricketts has 52 strikeouts in OU’s four WCWS games (28.0 innings pitched). The next highest total in this year’s WCWS is 31 by Alabama’s Jackie Traina (also 28.0 innings).
- With her 12 strikeouts tonight, Ricketts now has 445 this season. She needs just eight strikeouts to break her own OU single-season record of 452 set last year.
- Ricketts improved to 37-7 on the year, tying the school record for single-season victories. She shares the mark with Jennifer Stewart (2001) and Lauren Eckermann (2007).
- OU junior catcher Jessica Shults drove in a pair of runs tonight, increasing her WCWS total to a tournament-high four. She was 1-for-3 with a sac fly.
- The Sooners left a season-high 12 runners on base tonight. OU’s previous season high was 11 runners stranded, which happened just two other times (both against Texas; May 5 and 6).
- Tonight marked OU’s 16th game with at least 10 hits this season. OU is 16-0 in those contests.
- OU’s Destinee Martinez has five hits in her last seven at bats. The sophomore went 2-for-4 at the plate tonight after going 3-for-3 in Sunday’s win over Arizona State. She is batting a tournament-high-tying .500 in four WCWS games (7-for-14). Martinez also holds the team’s longest current hitting streak at 15 games.
- With her fifth-inning run, OU freshman Lauren Chamberlain moved into fourth place on the school’s single-season runs list with 65. The school record is 71 by Norrelle Dickson in 2007.
- The Sooners’ six-game streak of hitting a home run came to an end tonight. They homered nine times in those six games.
- Alabama senior outfielder Jennifer Fenton went 2-for-4 at the plate tonight. Fenton has recorded a hit in five straight WCWS games (going back to last year) and in 14 straight games overall. She has reached base in 17 straight contests.
- Alabama sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina suffered just her third loss this season (40-3) and first since May 4 (4-1 to Florida). OU’s 11 hits were the second most surrendered by Traina on the season and the most in 37 starts (gave up 13 to Georgia Tech on Feb. 17). Traina gave up just 10 total hits in Alabama’s three WCWS games prior to tonight (21.0 innings pitched).
- Tonight’s attendance of 8,197 set a WCWS Session 8 record. The previous Session 8 standard of 7,447 was set last year (Arizona State vs. Florida). This year’s total attendance figure is 60,771, good for an average of 8,682 per session. The record for per-session attendance is 7,515, set last year.