(51-11, 19-5 SEC)
Friday, May 30 - 8:45 pm CT - ESPN2
Thursday was a good day for the SEC with all three teams winning the all-important first round game. Not to get too overconfident but things are unfolding pretty nicely for the Crimson Tide. Kentucky took care of the dangerous #6 seed Louisiana-Lafayette and their bespectacled pitching ace Christina Hamilton. Meanwhile in the other bracket, top seeded Oregon gets to battle with that menace Florida.
BAMA 6 OKLAHOMA 2
On Wednesday, we saw the vintage Jaclyn Jackie J-Train Traina. She was loose, smiling, and cruising. A first inning solo home run was the only hit and earned run she gave up to the defending champs while striking out nine. The win was the 104th of her storied career tying for seventh in SEC history.
Freshman Peyton Grantham continues her post-season rampage with a 3-run jack in the fourth inning. Junior Jadyn Spencer broke the game open with a 2-run screaming line-drive homer an inning later.
Like most teams in the post-season, the Wildcats are riding on the arm of their ace. In this case it is Kelsey Nunley (30-9, 1.83 ERA), who has been on a major roll. In their regional, she lost 2-1 to DePaul but this was after throwing 154 pitches into the tenth inning. She came back later the same day to defeat the Blue Demons in a 5 inning mercy-rule win. In the Super Regional against UCLA, she lost the opener but only because all 6 of the Bruins' runs were unearned. She came back the next day and pitched double-header Ws to get UK to the WCWS. In a strange coincidence in yesterday's game against La-Laf, Nunley gave up her only hit and run to the third batter she faced in the form of a solo homer - similar to the performance Traina had in her win over Oklahoma.
On offense, the 'Cats have three players with 10 or more home runs. Their best player is senior Lauren Cumbess who had a single, double and home run on Thursday. She is hitting .321 on the season with 10 round-trippers and 41 RBIs. Griffin Joiner is hitting .310 with 10 HR and 39 RBI. Nikki Sagermann is at .276, 13 HR and 49 RBI.
Likely Bama line-up:
Kallie Case lf
Jadyn Spencer rf
Kaila Hunt 2b
Molly Fichtner c
Marisa Runyon dp
Peyton Grantham 3b
Leona Lafaele 1b - home run, 2 RBI
Danae Hays ss
Jaclyn Traina p - 7.0 innings pitched, 4 hits, 0 runs, 6 K
* Next Alabama softball game is Sunday.
Saturday: La-Lafayette will play Oklahoma. Winner of that game gets Oregon.
Winner of that game gets Bama.