Alabama Softball Defeats Arizona, 5-1
Alabama's work for the day was not done, however. A controversial umpire's call on Saturday night gave Arizona State a 3-1 victory over the Crimson Tide and put Bama in the loser's bracket. That meant the Tide had to win twice Saturday to continue play in the Women's College World Series.
Bama was to take on Louisiana-Lafayette at 8 p.m. CDT Saturday.
Alabama got pitching and hitting from familiar faces in defeating Arizona. Kelsi Dunne pitched a complete game victory, allowing just four singles an unearned run. The Wildcats entered the game with 94 home runs on the season. Dunne improved to 26-5. The Tide pounded out 10 hits against Arizona. Charlotte Morgan had a home run and a double and drove in three runs, giving her a Southeastern Conference record 79 RBI on the season. She also had a single as she went 3-3. She surpassed Tennessee's Kristi Durant, who drove in 77 runs in 2005.
Alabama improved to 57-7 overall and 1-10 all time vs. the Wildcats. Arizona's season comes to an end with a 41-19 record. Taryne Mowatt (29-15) took the loss for the Cats, allowing five runs – all earned – on 10 hits with seven walks and nine strikeouts.
Brittany Rogers drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the fifth inning with a one-out double she blooped in front of the left fielder and over the shortstop's head for a 2-1 lead.
Rogers' RBI was just the start as Charlotte Morgan followed two batters later with a bases-loaded two-RBI single down the left-field line. Kelley Montalvo then ripped a RBI double into the right-center-field gap as the Tide broke on top 5-1 with a four-run sixth inning.
Morgan staked the Crimson Tide to an early lead with her 19th home run of the season in the third inning on a towering shot down the left-field line.
An error and a poor decision on a sacrifice bunt put runners on first and second base for the Wildcats to leadoff the bottom half of the third inning. Another sacrifice bunt moved the runners over to second and third for Stacie Chambers who delivered a RBI single to left field to tie the game at 1-1.
Alabama improved to 57-7 on the season and 3-9 all-time at the WCWS. This week marked the Crimson Tide's fifth overall trip to the World Series and fourth in the last five years.
Arizona dropped to 41-19 overall and 0-2 this week in its 20th WCWS appearance. The Wildcats also slid to 0-16 when trailing after six innings.
Alabama picked up its first ever win versus Arizona (1-10) and evened the series at 1-1 when meeting at the WCWS (Arizona beat Alabama 3-2 in 2003).
Six straight Alabama batters reached in the sixth inning, helping the Tide plate four runs for a 5-1 lead. The four runs in the frame were the most by any team in a single inning in this year's WCWS while the Tide's five total runs were also a 2008 WCWS high.
Alabama improved to 23-0 this year when collecting at least 10 hits.
The home run by Alabama's Charlotte Morgan in the top of the third gave her 19 on the year, a total that ranks second in school history (Kelly Kretschman homered 25 times in 1998). Morgan also leads the team with 19 multiple-RBI games this year and has at least one in 39 of the 63 games she has played.
Morgan's two-run double in the sixth marked her NCAA-leading 79th RBI of the year. That total breaks an SEC record set by Tennessee's Kristi Durant in 2005 (77).
Alabama's 441 runs scored this season are the second most in school history behind last season's 470.
Brittany Rogers' RBI double in the top of the sixth gave the Tide a 2-1 lead and extended her hitting streak to 17 games. She has reached base in 61 of 63 games this season.
The loss marked the first time Arizona has not advanced to the WCWS championship game/series the year after winning the national title. The Wildcats have won eight softball national championships.
Alabama is now 3-9 in the Women's College World Series.
Morgan's home run was her 19th of the season and her fourth postseason home run.
Brittany Rogers extended her hitting streak to 17 games with a fourth-inning RBI double.
Alabama is 23-0 when they collect 10 or more hits in game.
With the win, the Crimson Tide has not lost consecutive games this season.
UA is 52-1 when they out-hit the opponent.
Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy
"I thought kind of an overall good game by us. I think it was probably the best game we have played here and that is our first win ever over Arizona. That feels really, really good. Credit (pitcher) Kelsi (Dunne) and the hitters who came through. It was a complete game for us."
On the team's offense against Arizona pitcher Taryne Mowatt:
"We talked about it last night in our team meeting that if our offense showed up for the rest of the tournament I do not think anybody could match us because one through nine it is a very dangerous lineup. I thought today was a pretty good showing by us with 10 hits just all the way around. I think if we keep hitting we can go for a long time."
On overcoming the controversial call Thursday against Arizona State:
"The one (tonight) down the line was right on the line. He called it right. All these things are going through my mind: ‘We are never going to get a break, we are never going to get a break.' We told them in the huddle one time, just create your own breaks and hit the ball. Do not let anything decide the game but us. They have never looked at records, they have never looked ahead in the schedule. They do not do that. They just play the game at hand. We all thought, the coaching staff thought, they would come out and put it behind them and I thought they did."
On if that's the biggest win in Alabama history:
"I think it is definitely the biggest win at the World Series, to beat Arizona, the defending national champions. They are a great team and it is definitely the biggest win here. We have not had very many."
From Alabama sophomore first baseman Charlotte Morgan:
On feeling about how the day went:
"We were coming into this game and we wanted to stay together as a unit. If we did that we knew the sky is the limit for our team. Going out there every at bat, I just wanted to come through for our team and for Kelsi (Dunne) because I know she was working her butt off."
From Alabama junior outfielder Brittany Rogers:
On her RBI double in the sixth inning:
"I was just trying to make an adjustment at the plate for my teammates. I saw that (Ashley) Holcombe and (Whitney Larsen) worked so hard in front of me and I wanted to do it for them. I was just thankful that it fell and worked out and set the table."
On finally getting some breaks:
"It is definitely nice, but I will tell you we have been talking ever since Friday night about how something is going to work for us, something is going to start falling for us. We just have to keep believing and keep trusting each other and working as hard as we can because we cannot control everything on the field. We can control our attitude and that is something we worked on and it happened."
From Alabama junior third baseman Kelley Montalvo:
On if her RBI double helped take the sting out of the Thursday's controversial play at third:
"Yesterday was rough, I am not going to lie. It was rough. Having everybody show up today, like I always say, it motivates us for the next game. And I knew our team was going to come out with fire and I was going to be the leader of the team and make sure all of us came out today."
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