Alabama moved one step closer to regaining its spot atop college softball at the Women’s College World Series on Sunday.
Behind the strength of Jaclyn Traina’s complete game, the Crimson Tide advanced to WCWS championship series for the second time in three years with a 2-0 victory over Oregon at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Traina struck out eight and allowed four hits to earn her eighth career win at the WCWS, where she earned Most Valuable Player honors during Alabama’s championship run in 2012.
“This was similar to 2012 when we had to beat the Pac-12 champion (to make the final series),” said Alabama coach Patrick Murphy, referencing a 5-2 win over Cal. “They were just as tough as Cal was that day. For Jaclyn to shut out that offense, it’s just incredible.”
Alabama stranded six runners over the first four innings before its offense finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth when leadoff hitter Haylie McCleney homered to right field.
Later in the inning, Molly Fichtner gave Alabama an insurance run with an RBI single up the middle to score Kaila Hunt from second. The throw from Oregon center fielder Koral Costa beat Hunt to the plate, but she danced around catcher Janelle Lindvall to put the Crimson Tide up 2-0.