Notes, Quotes From Alabama Softball

Oklahoma City, Okla. -- Alabama's softball team defeated Arizona and Arizona State on Saturday and will play Florida at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Women's College World Series. Bama must defeat the Gators--ranked number one in the nation--twice in one day to advance to the finals of the WCWS. Here are notes and quotes from Saturday.

Postgame notes from Alabama's 6-2 win over Arizona State.

• Alabama improved to 54-10 overall and will face Florida on Sunday at 2 p.m. CDT. The Crimson Tide must defeat the Gators twice in order to advance to the championship series against either Washington or Georgia.

• Defending national champion Arizona State saw its season end with a 47-19 record.

• With Alabama trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Crimson Tide pinch hitter Jazlyn Lunceford belted a grand slam to left field in her first WCWS at bat. It was the freshman's third homer of the year and first grand slam.

• Lunceford's grand slam was Alabama's second of the season. Whitney Larsen hit the other March 8 versus Baylor.

• Lunceford's last hit prior to this evening came April 22 against Georgia Tech. She had only four at bats between that April 22 single and her grand slam.

• Alabama is now 5-4 all time against Arizona State and is 3-1 against Pac-10 teams this season. This is the first time that the Sun Devils and Tide have met this year. In last year's WCWS, Arizona State dealt Alabama a pair of losses.

• Alabama sophomore pitcher Kelsi Dunne improved her season record to 28-4 with the win. Dunne, who is now 2-3 in WCWS play over two seasons, upped her career record to 54-9. She allowed two runs on four hits while striking out nine in the complete game effort.

• Alabama, which entered the game ranked first nationally with its 2.8 stolen bases per game, swiped four bases.

• Arizona State junior first baseman Katie Crabb hit her first post-season home run of the year in the top of the fourth inning to put the Sun Devils up 2-0. It was her fourth homer of the year and gave ASU 87 on the season.

• This marks the first time since the first year of the Women's College World Series (1982) that none of the final four teams remaining have ever been a champion.

• A Women's College World Series record 8,475 fans attended Saturday's evening session, breaking the previous single-session mark of 8,323 set Friday. Through five sessions this year, attendance is at 36,519 (an average of 7,304 per session). The WCWS record for average attendance per session is 6,648, set last year.

Alabama Postgame Quotes

Head coach Patrick Murphy Opening comment:

"I appreciate everybody being here and Clint (Myers) is a great guy, too, and congratulations to him as well and ASU on a great season. It is not often that you beat Mike Candrea and Clint Myers on the same day, and that could be the best day in the history of our program, especially since our backs were against the wall. It is do or die and to eliminate Arizona and Arizona State on the same day is one great accomplishment. Credit goes to the team."

On Jazlyn Lunceford and her pinch-hit grand slam in the fourth inning:

"I just believe in her and I know that she has not gotten to play much, but I kept telling our coaches, ‘I feel good about Jaz, I feel good about Jaz, we have to get her an at bat.' And with (Brittany) Rogers, I know that she is a four-time All-American but I wanted to score more than one run and Jaz did the rest."

On the SEC beating the Pac-10:

"Congrats to Georgia and Florida for being in the final four but I have said that until someone beats (the Pac-10) they are still the best conference. I was telling our freshmen you don't say anything until you do something. One of us needs to do it and whether it is us, Florida or Georgia, we need to do it. And if we don't we need to shut up until we do."

Jazlyn Lunceford

On her grand slam in the fourth inning:

"It was really exciting to be in that situation. I just knew that I wanted to get it done for our seniors because it means a lot to them. The whole team just wants to do it for them."

"I was talking to our left-handed hitters because I knew that there might be a chance that I would go up, and they said that she was going in and out. And so I just saw that it was outside and just went with it."

Kelsi Dunne

On the confidence boost after the grand slam:

"Our team was just going to stick together and when they hit the home run and scored the two runs I believed in our team to come back and score runs because we know how to fight. When we got down like that we just got fired up. I was really excited to see Jaz get in there and get the big hit. It was really exciting."

Brittany Rogers

On her reaction to being pinch hit for by Jazlyn Lunceford:

"I was excited when he said that Jaz is going to hit for (me) because she takes hacks at the plate and I knew that she was going to fight and give everything she had up there in the box. I would give up my at bat any day to see that happen. I am so proud of her and I think that it is so awesome that she came through in the clutch."

Arizona State Quotes

Head coach Clint Myers Opening comment:

"I want to thank Oklahoma City, the state of Oklahoma for their great support in the tournament. I want to thank the committee for the job they did. I also want to say how proud I am to represent Arizona State for the fourth consecutive year. It's a great honor, it's a great tournament. Really, I can't say enough great things about the ladies that have played. This was (my) first senior class, Miss (Kaitlin) Cochran, Miss (Jessica) Mapes, Miss (Renee) Welty, Miss (Brooke) Neuman – we will hate to see them go. They are a class act, they are great people and they are going to make society better. When you can say something like that, it says a lot about these women."

On the pinch-hit grand slam by Alabama's Jazlyn Lunceford:

"I wasn't looking for it. We missed a spot. We had pitched her well up until that point. The ball was supposed to be different, in a different location. But, I take my hat off to her. She hit a mistake, and she hit it hard."

On Hillary Bach's performance in the circle:

"It's going to make her a better person, and a better pitcher. She came in as a thrower and she's leaving the College World Series as a pitcher. She gained an invaluable experience and knowledge of how to pitch, who she is and who she wants to be. She wants to be a leader, she wants to be a great pitcher. There's not a person alive who would say that she didn't take her first steps to achieving that. Hillary Bach, an outstanding individual."

Katie Crabb

On her home run:

"I had a good at bat on my first at bat, and I was really confident after that. I was going in there and I was going to take my hacks. I wasn't going to get cheated. I was just trying to get a base hit, trying to square up to the ball. It worked out pretty well."

Kaitlin Cochran

On Kelsi Dunne's pitching performance:

"She was just placing the ball well. I don't think we were, as a team, aggressive enough at the plate, including myself. She was going up there, throwing strikes and doing her job as a pitcher. We just couldn't get it together, other than Crabby's hit."

On claiming the early lead:

"With (Hillary) Bach in the circle, she had been doing great for us. We thought we could hold it to a 2-0 lead. You can just never underestimate any team at the World Series. You never know what's going to happen."

On reflecting on the past four years:

"We are trying to set a foundation for this team. To bring a title last year was a great experience and we hope to pass it on to the next senior class. We wanted to establish a tradition. That's what Coach (Clint) Myers wanted to do when he came here, and I think he has done just that. We just want to keep it going, we want to establish the same tradition that Arizona or UCLA has."

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