Dunne Shines in World Series Opener; Downs Cal 1-0

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Kelsi Dunne struck out a WCWS career-high 11 batters.
Kelsi Dunne struck out a WCWS career-high 11 batters.

June 2, 2011

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Alabama senior Kelsi Dunne and freshman Jackie Traina combined to allow just one hit to down No. 7-seeded Cal, 1-0, Thursday afternoon at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. The victory in the opening game of the Women's College World Series is a first for the Crimson Tide as it improves to 52-9 on the season.

“That’s a big monkey off our back," Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. "It’s a long time coming. It was a great win. In the World Series and postseason you have to have great pitching and great defense, and you have to come up with a timely hit and today we got all three. You’ve got the pitcher, the great defense and the timely hit by the freshman (Kaila Hunt) with two outs and a runner on third, and that’s a recipe for success in postseason.”

Dunne baffled the Golden Bears hitters all afternoon with her movement and wide array of pitches before relenting to the freshman Traina, who struck out two in the final frame to earn her third save of the season.

Dunne (28-4) went six innings and allowed one hit and walked one while striking out a WCWS career-high 11 batters. Dunne eclipsed the 1,200 strikeout mark for her career, moving to 24th on the NCAA career strikeout list.

In her first collegiate at-bat at the WCWS, freshman Kaila Hunt lined a 2-2 pitch down the line in left to score pinch-runner Keima Davis with two outs in the second inning. Junior Amanda Locke started off the frame with an infield single to short and then Davis did the rest as she stole second and third before coming home on the hit.