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Alabama Rallys For First WCWS Title
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Alabama captured the first softball national championship in school and SEC history by rallying to beat Oklahoma, 5-3, early Thursday morning in the third game of the 2012 Women’s College World Series Championship series at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
The game was delayed for nearly three hours due to rain in the area, but eventually got underway at 9:55 p.m.
Alabama (60-8) took the lead in the fourth and it all began with a single from Kaila Hunt to lead off the inning. Hunt went on to score on three wild pitches from Ricketts, while Kendall Dawson reached base on a walk.
Dawson went on to score in the next at-bat on a hard-hit single from Amanda Locke that went screaming through the left side. Courtney Conley followed up Locke’s single with a double of her own to score Locke and knot the game at three.
The tie, however, did not last long as Jazlyn Lunceford reached in the next at-bat on a throwing error from Oklahoma’s Jessica Vest, allowing Lunceford to score and the Tide to take a 4-3 lead.
“The second year of the program, we came here with Kelly Kretschman, Shelley Laird, and Ginger Jones, a great team. Shelley was our first, best pitcher that we recruited. You know, at the time, I kept telling everybody, I said, ‘I don't want to be an one‑hit wonder and this be the one time to come to the World Series’, because you never know. Then we got Stephanie VanBrakle, then we got a kid named Kelsi Dunne, and then we got a kid named Jackie Traina. I felt like if we kept going or coming back, we could win one. It just took eight times to get here, and it was eighth time was a charm.”
The championship gave Alabama its fourth of the 2011-2012 academic year over all sponsored sports. The Tide previously captured titles this season in the Football Bowl Subdivision, women’s gymnastics and women’s golf.
The 2012 WCWS was the best attended in the history of the event. New overall and per-session attendance marks were established this year at 75,960 and 8,440, respectively. Session attendance records were broken in eight of the nine sessions and the all-time session record heading into this season was surpassed three separate times.