Certainly it was a disappointment that Alabama’s softball team is not advancing to the Women’s College World Series, but no one could be disappointed in the performance of the Crimson Tide in coming within a run of keeping its streak of playing for the national championship.
Alabama softball’s season came to an end Saturday evening in Gainesville, as top-seeded Florida won game three of the Super Regional series, 2-1.
Florida scored both its runs in the first inning, the winning run coming on a hit batsmen with two outs and the bases loaded.
In the top of the second, Bama pulled to within a run following a Rachel Bobo triple and an infield single by Elissa Brown.
For the rest of the game, Alexis Osorio for Alabama and Kelly Barnhill for Florida kept the batters at bay. With the win, Florida took the Gainesville NCAA Super Regional two games to one, both teams scoring four runs over the three games. Bama finished its season at 46-18. Florida, 55-8, advances to the College World Series in Oklahoma City as the No. 1 seed.
Barnhill (24-3) earned the win for the Gators with one run allowed on two hits with 12 strikeouts while Osorio (23-8) took the loss with two runs allowed on three hits with eight strikeouts. Osorio ends the season with 334 strikeouts and a 1.21 ERA, both of which rank fourth in single-season history at Alabama.
Florida struck the opening blow in the bottom of the first with an RBI single by Aleshia Ocasio and would later load the bases with one out. A popup went for out number two before a hit-by-pitch moved everyone up 60 feet and improved the Gators’ lead to 2-0.
With two out in the top of the second, Bobo laced a 2-2 pitch back up the middle and over the center fielder’s head, who was playing in, and the ball rolled to the wall allowing her to leg out a triple. Brown then slapped a single to the shortstop, reaching base safely as Bobo scored from third and an errant throw allowed Brown to advance to second.
The score remained the same for the next four innings, as Barnhill retired 13-straight Tide batters and Florida could not add to its one-run lead. In the top of the seventh, Reagan Dykes swung at strike three but reached first base on a wild pitch to lead off the half-inning. A force out and a pair of strikeouts would end the game however as the Crimson Tide fell, 2-1, to end its season.