Locke's Homer Keys Tide Softball Win
On Friday night, it wasn't batting practice. Alabama was locked in a 1-1 duel with Arizona State in a second round game of the Women's College World Series when Locke came to the plate in the top of the sixth inning. Locke, who had been battling a post-season slump going into the game, came through in a big way with a home run that gave the Crimson Tide a 2-1 victory.
Then it was up to Alabama ace Jackie Traina to finish the job, and she did, striking out the final two Arizona State batters in both the sixth and seventh innings -- stranding the tying run at second base in the seventh -- to get the win.
Traina had her problems, but finished with a three-hit, 11-strikeout performance for her school record 39th win against only two losses this season. Traina walked five batters, including two to start the fourth inning. She then gave up her first hit of the game to Sam Parlich to score pinch runner Kayla Ketchum.
Alabama answered in the top of the fifth against Arizona State's Dallas Escobedo (24-7) when Jennifer Fenton drove a single up the middle to score Courtney Conley from third base.
Bama had seven hits in the game, including two each by Fenton and Locke, but the Tide stranded seven runners. In the third inning Bama had runners at first and second and Kaila Hunt drove a ball deep into center, but Arizona State's Elizabeth Caporuscio made a nice catch to prevent runs.
With the win Alabama, the second seed in the WCWS, improved its record to 57-7. third-seeded Arizona State fell to 52-10.
The victory kept Alabama in the winners' bracket, meaning the Crimson Tide gets Saturday off while losers' bracket teams play to see who makes the cut to continue in the double elimination tournament. Bama will next play for a chance to reach the championship series beginning at 2:30 p.m. CDT Sunday. ESPN will televise the game.
Primarily because Oklahoma had played California earlier in the evening, the Tide played before a WCWS record crowd of 9,209.
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