WCWS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME THREE
June 6, 2012
OKLAHOMA vs ALABAMA
Series tied one game apiece. Game Three decides national championship.
Pitchers: Keilani Ricketts for Oklahoma; Jackie Traina for Alabama.
Oklahoma won Game One 4-1, behind 13 Ks from ace Keilani Rickets, the Collegiate Player of the Year. Jackie Traina took the loss. Alabama won Game Two 8-6, not as close as the score indicates; OU had a 5 run rally bottom 7th, fueled by a 3-run homer by Shults, and had the tying run on deck. Game Two not only broke the Sooners 12-game winning streak, the Tide forced OU to pull Ricketts in the 4th, Ricketts tallied 5 Ks in her short stint, half of her average 10Ks per game. Alabama scored six of its runs on just two hits – bases clearing doubles by Locke and Traina. Bama had 4 hits, OU 9. Each team stranded 9 runners. OU has stranded 19 in two games. Ricketts still leads the WCWS with 57 Ks; Traina is second with 39. Ricketts set a new NCAA record, hitting five batters. In all, six batters were it by OU pitchers, like giving the opposing team two extra at-bats. Traina hit Shults. The second game marked the 27th time this season the Crimson Tide has scored eight or more runs. Shults had 2 hits, and a tournament high of 8 rbi. Traina is second with 5 rbi. Alabama is now 59-8. Oklahoma is 54-9.
Game Three, scheduled for 7pm, is now in an official rain delay, NCAA announced at 630pm. A start time has been tentatively set for 955pm.
THE COMPETITION FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Will Oklahoma carry forward the momentum of last night’s awesome 7th inning, as OU coaches and players promised afterwards? Alabama also had the intense desire to be the first SEC team to win the national championship. The answer:
Alabama 5, Oklahoma 4
OU led 3-0 until Bama scored 4 runs in bottom 4th – with two out, Alabama took the lead 4-3, on a walk, 2 passed balls, 2 hits, and an error. Bama over came 2 home runs by Chamberlain, and a solo by Ricketts. Ricketts had 7 Ks but OU was hurt by four passed balls, all contributing to Bama scores, in the last three innings, during which Alabama simply outplayed. Traina, who was named Most Outstanding Player had 6 Ks.
T1, In an altered OU lineup, Turang now batting 1st. Turang slapped, 4-3. Martinez, who extended her hitting streak last night, struck out. Chamberlain flied out to center. The Crimson Tide noisemakers were rattling furiously.
B1. Braud whiffed, Fenton fanned, Hunt struck out. Ricketts has struck out the side.
T2. Ricketts jacked the second pitch for a home run inside the right field pole. Shults reached on an error by the second baseman. Parson in to run. Norris popped to 3rd. Casey fouled out to 1st. Sampson flied out to 1st. One left.
B2. Traina out 4-3. Boccia struck out. Dawson batted the breeze, Ricketts’ fifth K.
T3. Henson singled to center. Turang forced Henson at 2nd. Martinez bounced to Traina. Chamberlain socked the second pitch into the bleachers in left, 2 rbi. Ricketts at 3-2 struck out. OU 3-0.
B3. Locke beat out an infield hit to short. Conley flied to right. Lunceford fielder’s choice 5-6 at 2nd. Braud beat out a hit. Fenton hit to short force at 3rd.
T4. Shults lined out to right. Norris walked. Vest in to run. Casey at 3-2 forced Vest at 2nd. Sampson walked. Henson , two on, two out, struck (rather feebly), stranding two.
B4. Hunt singled to left, the third hit off Ricketts. Traina up, Hunt advanced on a passed ball. Traina flied out to right. Boccia swung away – nada. Dawson up, Hunt advanced on another passed ball, Dawson walked. Runners at the corners. Locke up, Hunt scored on the third passed ball of the inning; Rain delay. Gasso pulled OU off the field. Alabama followed suit. The Umpires walked off. Play resumed. Locke, on a 3-2 count, singled hard to left, rbi, 3-2. Fourth hit off Ricketts. Conley doubled to center, rbi, tying the score 3-3. Two runs with two out. Lunceford reached on an error at short, run scored, Alabama had the lead 4-3, on a walk, 2 passed balls, 2 hits, and an error. Braud out 5-3.
T5. Turang popped. Martinez out 4-3. Chamberlain walked. Ricketts hbp. Shults hit a 2-2 pitch caught at the right field fence.
B5. Fenton hit a bunt single, advanced on another passed ball. Hunt grounded out. Traina singled, rbi, 5-3. Pinch hitter Bell struck out, Ricketts 7th. Dawson grounded to short.
T6. Norris struck out. Casey singled to right. Sampson popped to short. Henson fanned.
B6. Locke hit back to Ricketts. Conley walked. Lunceford grounded to short. Braud grounded to 3rd.
T7. Oklahoma’s last chance for that second championship. Turang grounded out. Martinez out on an attempted bunt, Chamberlain parked a mighty homer in the center field bleachers, her second of the game. Ricketts looked at a third strike.
The final OU out gave Alabama the WCWS championship – the first for an SEC team.
ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM
Amber Freeman, Arizona State
Samantha Pappas, Oregon
Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma
Destinee Martinez, Oklahoma
Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma
Jessica Shults, Oklahoma
Briana Turang, Oklahoma
Kayla Braud, Alabama
Jennifer Fenton, Alabama
Amanda Locke, Alabama
Most Outstanding Player
Jackie Traina, Alabama