Rapid Reaction: Alabama forces Game 3
June, 5, 2012
By Brandon Chatmon | ESPN.com
Oklahoma refused to quit but it was not enough.
Alabama held off a late rally from the Sooners to earn a 8-6 win in Game 2 of the championship series of the Women’s College World Series at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night. The Crimson Tide’s win forces a championship-deciding Game 3 on Wednesday night.
The Sooners trailed by an 8-1 deficit throughout much of the game but rallied to get within two runs with a five-run seventh inning but the hole proved too big to overcome.
Turning point: Amanda Locke’s 3-run double broke the game wide open in the top of the second inning. Two walks and a hit batter contributed to a four-run, two-hit inning for the Crimson Tide. Not only did it give Alabama a comfortable lead, it helped force the Sooners to replace standout pitcher Keilani Ricketts in the fourth inning.
Uncommon sight: Ricketts struggled for the first time during the postseason. Ricketts, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, allowed six runs (two earned) and hit five batters in 3.1 innings pitched in the loss. The junior had allowed five runs in four games before Tuesday.
Player of the game: Jessica Shults continued her clutch hitting, adding four more RBI to her WCWS resume including a three-run home run in the seventh inning. She has a WCWS-high eight RBIs in five WVWS games and 65 RBIs this season.
Stat of the game: .667. Alabama was 2 for 3 with the bases loaded as their clutch hitting overcame their .154 overall batting average.
What it means: Wednesday night’s game is winner-take-all. Oklahoma will have to rebound from Tuesday’s loss to become the national champion.