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WCWS: Alabama beats defending champ Arizona State

by Michael Baldwin Published: June 1, 2012

No SEC team has ever won a softball national title.

Alabama is one win away from having the opportunity to play in the best-of-three final after defeating defending national champion Arizona State 2-1 Friday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in front of a Women's College World Series record crowd of 9,209.

In a game in which both teams searched for the timely hit, the Crimson Tide won it in the sixth inning on Amanda Locke's 18th home run, a mammoth shot to straightaway center field.

The Crimson Tide (57-7) outhit the Sun Devils 7-3, but ASU sophomore right-hander Dallas Escobedo, who led Arizona State to the national title last year, made key pitches to escape trouble in the second, third and seventh.

Alabama sophomore right-hander Jackie Traina created her own jams by walking five, but struck out 11 to improve to 39-2, setting the Crimson Tide single-season record for wins.

ASU (52-10) took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when the first two batters walked and Elizabeth Caporuscio lined an RBI single to right. Traina escaped the jam with back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out.

Alabama tied it in the fifth on Jennifer Fenton's RBI single, driving in Courtney Conley, who started the inning with a bunt single.

ASU's only other hit was Amber Freeman's two-out single in the fifth.

The only two SEC schools to reach the finals were Monica Abbott-led Tennessee, which lost to Arizona in 2007. and Florida. which lost to Arizona State last year and Washington in 2009.

by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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