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WCWS: Arizona State Advances to Championship Series

 OKLAHOMA CITY – Arizona State became the first team to earn a spot in the Championship Series with a 3-1 victory over Alabama on Sunday afternoon at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. 

Arizona State (59-7) awaits the winner of the upcoming “if necessary” game between Florida and Texas A&M that is scheduled to begin at 6 pm CDT. Alabama concludes its season with a record of 58-8. 

The Crimson Tide got on the scoreboard first, scoring in the top of the third inning as Kellie Eubanks was hit by a pitch, was sacrificed to second by Lauren Parker, went to third on a Parker ground-out and scored on an RBI single by Jordan Praytor. 

Unfortunately for Alabama, the Sun Devils were able to answer in the bottom half of the frame. Both Rhiannon Baca and Kaitlin Cochran were hit by pitches, bringing Jackie Vasquez to the plate with two outs. She proceeded to put her NUMBER home run of the season, the Sun Devils first hit of the game, over the fence in right center field for a 3-1 Arizona State lead. 

Alabama was unable to answer and had just one baserunner for the remainder of the game as they fell by a score of 3-1. 

ASU’s Katie Burkhart struck out nine and walked two, allowing two hits and two walks in the game as she improves to 38-5 on the season. Kelsi Dunne (26-6) took the loss for Alabama. 

“Alabama is a very good and well-coached team,” said Arizona State head coach Clint Myers. “We knew it was going to be a battle of two very good pitchers. The big difference was timely hitting and one very big hit.”