Like the Florida Gators, the Alabama Crimson Tide didn’t have the best start in the 2019 Women’s College World Series.
The Tide battled back and forth with the top-seeded Oklahoma Sooners on Thursday night in OKC. But eventually, OU was able to pull away and win 3-2 to send them into the Winner’s Bracket, while ‘Bama now must fight for survival in the Elimination Bracket.
A 1st inning sacrifice fly by Caleigh Clifton got the scoring started for the Sooners, as they went up 1-0 after Clifton’s flyout to center. All-American Sydney Romero scored the game’s first run, and OU would maintain that lead until the top of the 3rd. That’s when ‘Bama star Bailey Hemphill swung and singled to right to bring Claire Jenkins in to score.
With the game tied, Jocelyn Alo gave the Sooners the lead right back in the bottom stanza. Alo singled up the middle to score Romero yet again. With that, the Sooners led 2-1, and would keep the Tide off the board in the top of the 4th. But they couldn’t do so in the top of the 5th. The aforementioned Jenkins swung and drove one over the fence to tie the game at 2-2.
OU wouldn’t respond in the bottom of the 5th, but the Tide were also unable to tack on another run in the top of the 6th. In the bottom of the 6th, Alo drew a leadoff walk. Raegan Rogers came on to pinch run, and she would stay on as Grace Green and Shay Knighten would record outs. With two away, Nicole Mendes drove one to left centerfield that would fall in. The speedy Rogers would race all around the bases and come in to score on Mendes’ clutch triple that lifted the Sooners up to a lead of 3-2.
Giselle Juarez was able to shut the Tide down in order in the top of the 7th to seal up the win, and put ‘Bama on thin ice as a result.
Alabama now must go into the Elimination Bracket, where they find a familiar foe in the Florida Gators. Oklahoma, meanwhile, faces off with someone familiar too, as they play Oklahoma State in the Winner’s Bracket.