Softball Downs Arizona State, 2-1
June 2, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY - The number two seeded Alabama softball team used a sixth inning solo home run by senior Amanda Locke and an 11-strikeout performance from sophomore Jackie Traina to down Arizona State, 2-1, Friday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. The win came in front of a record crowd of 9,209 fans.
After not having a hit for the entire NCAA Tournament until tonight, Locke hit a one-out solo home run to center field to give Alabama its first lead of the night - a lead it did not relinquish. It was the 18th home run of the season for Locke, moving her into fourth all-time on the Alabama single season list.
With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 57-7 on the year and advances to the semifinals for the fourth straight time. Arizona State drops to 52-10 on the season.
Traina threw a complete game three-hitter, striking out 11 batters en route to improving to 39-2 on the year. With the win, Traina set the single-season school record for victories, previously held by Shelley Laird.
Dallas Escobedo took the loss for the Sun Devils, falling to 24-7 on the year, as she gave up the two runs on seven hits while striking out nine batters.
Alabama cranked out seven hits on the night, including two by seniors Jennifer Fenton and Locke. Fenton has reached base in 15 consecutive games and now has a 12-game hitting streak, including every game in the postseason.
After falling behind for the first time in the WCWS in the bottom of the fourth inning, Alabama struck back quickly in the top of the fifth inning. Junior Courtney Conley led off with a surprise drag bunt to get on base. After a fielder's choice advanced her to second, Conley was able to come around on Fenton's RBI single up the middle, tying the game at 1-1.
ASU was able to make some noise in the bottom of the seventh inning, but an outstanding defensive play by Conley was able to erase that threat, and Traina struck out the final two batters to preserve the victory.
Alabama will now await its next opponent as it will play for the chance to head to the championship series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., on June 3 and will air on ESPN.