Alabama won its fourth game while on the brink of NCAA tournament elimination, booking its first trip to Oklahoma City, Okla., since 2021 and 14th overall.
The five-seed Crimson Tide followed its recent formula of elite pitching, clean defense and situational hitting to beat No. 12 Northwestern, 3-2, for the second time in less than 24 hours. After losing Friday night’s opener, Jaala Torrence and a group of seniors provided key moments to extend Alabama’s season.
On Sunday afternoon, it was a two-RBI knock by Ally Shipman and 3⅔ relief innings by a resilient, if not slightly hobbled, Montana Fouts that brought a celebration to Rhoads Stadium sending Tide (45-20) to the Women’s College World Series.
Torrence, who completed 11⅓ innings over the weekend, and Northwestern (42-13) ace Danielle Williams (267 total pitches) dueled in the circle once again. The series followed a familiar pattern: Both teams got base runners on and in scoring position but neither side could produce an early lead. As if the stakes weren’t obvious, both bullpens were active as early as the second inning.
There was about an hour-long lightning delay that paused the third inning, but starters Danielle Williams and Torrence remained in the game. Alabama was ready after the unexpected break. Kristen White picked up Alabama’s first hit via an infield grounder. The Tide then loaded the bases before Ally Shipman delivered a line drive, two-RBI single that bounced off the outfield wall to score a pair.
Yet, Northwestern immediately answered. The bottom of the lineup managed a two-out rally that sent Torrence to the dugout in favor of Montana Fouts. Freshman outfielder Kelsey Nader delivered the bloop hit that cut Alabama’s lead in half.
Northwestern managed two more base runners in the fifth and another in the sixth, but as she did on Saturday, Fouts escaped each jam. Jenna Johnson tacked on an insurance run with a solo home run off the left-field pole which proved costly for the Wildcats after Maeve Nelson cut the margin to one with her own home run.
Alabama will play SEC tournament champions Tennessee on June 1 at 12 p.m. The four-seed Volunteers swept Texas in its super regional.
This post will be updated.
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