Alabama Wins First-Ever National Softball Champhionship
By TSC Analyst/Contributor DANIEL URBAN
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oh how things can turn around in a three-game series.
Oklahoma handily defeated Alabama in Game #1 of the WCWS final and looked like a team of destiny. Sooner ace Keilani Ricketts dominated with a 7-inning 12-strikeout performance, allowing 5 hits and 1 earned run. On offense, Ricketts also added a hit and a run of her own for good measure.
Keilani Ricketts is SO good and that scowl she has while she pitches is terrifying!
Alabama’s ace Jackie Traina pitched well but not well enough to win a WCWS game. She threw 7 innings, 6 strikeouts, 11 hits, and 2 earned runs. Any time you give up 11 hits bad things are going to happen. I'm surprised she only gave up 2 earned runs.
After the game I really thought Oklahoma had the title locked down, but Traina is too good of a pitcher to let one setback affect her. She and the rest of the Crimson Tide bounced back big time, winning the 2nd and 3rd games in dramatic fashion to capture the 2012 WCWS national title.
In game #2 Ricketts had one of her worst games of the season. She only lasted 3.1 innings and gave up 2 earned runs on 5 hits. Her defense also did not help her by allowing two other unearned runs off of senseless errors while Keilani was pitching and allowing a total of 4 unearned runs throughout the game.
Oklahoma was down 8-1 after the 6th inning and mounted a small comeback in the 7th inning with 5 runs, but Jackie Traina struck out the final two Oklahoma batters and ended the inning and the game with an 8-6 win. Traina finished the match with 7 innings pitched, 5 hits, and 4 earned runs.
Game #3 was a very exciting match and a great way to end the Division I softball season. Ricketts performed much better than she did in Game #2 with 7 strike outs, 7 hits and 3 earned runs. But the difference in this game again came down to defensive errors. Oklahoma allowed in two unearned runs which ended up as the difference in the game.
Traina pitched 7 innings and allowed 5 earned runs on 6 hits with 6 strikeouts. So while Keilani did not pitch in the normal dominant fashion we are accustomed to, she allowed fewer earned runs and pitched well enough to win; however, her defense failed her.
Congrats to the Alabama Crimson Tide who played very well the entire season, peaked at the exact right moment, and defeated a real juggernaut in the Oklahoma Sooners. This is the first NCAA softball national title for Alabama. Read more.