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Cathi Aradi

WCWS: Arizona State Tops Alabama in Game 3

 OKLAHOMA CITY – Three runs in the top of the seventh inning powered Arizona State to victory over Arizona, 3-1, in the third game of the opening day at the Women’s College World Series. 

Arizona State (62-5) advances to play the winner of Game 4 (UCLA-Arizona) at approximately 8 pm CDT on Friday. Alabama (56-7) will play an elimination game against the Game 4 loser on Saturday at 1 pm CDT. 

Stranded runners were the story of the game through the first four and a half innings. Alabama stranded six runners in the first three innings, including a bases loaded jam in the second inning. In the game, the Crimson Tide would strand a total of 12 runners. 

Arizona State didn’t have any better success advancing runners in the early innings. The Sun Devils stranded runners in every inning including two in the first, fourth and sixth and left the bases loaded in the fifth inning. 

Alabama was first to push a run across, scoring in the bottom of the fifth inning. The rally started with a one-out walk by Jordan Praytor followed by an RBI double by Charlotte Morgan that scored Praytor from first base to give the Tide a 1-0 lead. 

That score held until the top of the seventh inning. The Tide chose to intentionally walk Katie Cochran to lead off the inning and she was sacrificed to second by Krista Donnenwirth. A double to left by Lesley Rogers scored Cochran, tying the game with one out in the inning. After Alabama pitcher Kelsi Dunne recorded her 10th strikeout of the game to record the second out, Renee Welty was hit by a pitch and Mandy Urfer connected on a two-RBI double to give the Sun Devils a 3-1 lead. 

The Crimson Tide was unable to mount a comeback in the bottom half of the frame and the final score stood at 3-1. 

Dunne took the loss for Alabama, falling to 25-5 on the season. She struck out 10 batters and walked eight, allowing four hits and three runs. 

Katie Burkhart improved to 37-5 on the season, striking out 13, walking six and allowing one run on three hits.