Tammy Williams’ single to center field slipped past Alabama center fielder Brittany Rogers, allowing Darcy Sengewald to score the winning run as Northwestern knocked off the Crimson Tide 6-5 in 10 innings Thursday night in the opening round of the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Trailing 5-4 heading into the last effort for the Wildcats (48-13), Erin Dyer delivered a two-out, two-strike pitch over the center field fence to send the game into extra innings.
Foster and Alabama starter Chrissy Owens battled until the 10th. Sengewald led off with a walk, and following a sacrifice bunt, Williams lined a single that resulted in the winning run when the ball went under the glove of Rogers.
Katie Logan, Williams and Garland Cooper combined to go 10-for-16 with three RBIs and four of the team’s six runs in a game that saw three lead changes and two ties.
Northwestern struck in the third as Kristen Amegin was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Bama (54-10) struck back in its next at-bat, regaining the lead with a pair of runs on Stephanie VanBrakle’s base hit that scored Mallory Benak and Jordan Praytor.
The lead didn’t last past the bottom of the frame as Northwestern scored three runs on Cooper’s three run blast out left field. The Crimson Tide responded, however, cutting the lead to one on throwing error in the fifth.
They regained the lead in the sixth as one run came in on a pitch that appeared to hit Rogers, only to have it hit the end of the bat and go for a base hit that allowed Kelley Montalvo to score. They took the lead one batter later as Praytor earned a bases-loaded walk.
“It was a terrific game,” Northwestern head coach Kate Drohan said. “There were a lot of shifts. Alabama fought hard, but the thing that struck me was how composed our team was being here for the first time. We played our game on this stage, and I’m very pleased.”
Courtnay Foster hurled four and two thirds in relief of Eileen Canney to pick up the win and move to 24-6 on the year. Foster allowed a run on three hits and struck out 13 in the winning effort. Canney hurled five and a third, giving up four runs, three earned, with seven strikeouts.
Owens suffered the loss. In relief of VanBrakle, Owens gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits with four strikeouts. VanBrakle gave up four runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts over four innings of work.
The Wildcats will face the winner of the day’s final game between UCLA and Tennessee Friday at 8 p.m. Alabama will take on the loser of the contest 1 p.m. June 3.
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