No. 3 ARIZONA STATE Sun Devils
Overall Record: 52-9
Conference: Pac-12 (2nd, 18-4)
Head Coach: Clint Myers

vs.
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No. 2 ALABAMA Crimson Tide
Overall Record: 56-7
Conference: Southeastern (1st, 23-5)
   Head Coach: Patrick Murphy

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN THE SUN DEVILS AND CRIMSON TIDE MEET

Venue: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Game Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN 2 / ESPN3 
Announcers:
   Pam Ward (play by play)
   Jessica Mendoza (color)
   Michelle Smith (color)
   Holly Rowe (field reporter)

Who to Watch for the Sun Devils: SS Katelyn Boyd, .443, 77 R, 19 HR, 61 RBI; C Amber Freeman, .340, 12 HR, 41 RBI; P Hillary Bach, 21-1, 1.59 ERA, 84 K

Who to Watch for the Crimson Tide: OF Kayla Braud, .353, 58 R, 19 RBI, 41 SB; 1B Cassie Reilly-Boccia, .359, 9 HR, 48 RBI; P/UT Jackie Traina, 38-2, 1.71 ERA, 324 K, .305, 9 HR, 32 RBI 

IN THE 2012 POSTSEASON

Arizona State
Regional
    def. LIU Brooklyn, 9-0 (5 inn.) [ Box ]
    def. Syracuse, 3-1 [ Box ]
    lost to Syracuse, 1-0 [ Box ]
    def. Syracuse, 4-0 [ Box ]
Super Regional
    lost to No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette, 6-0 [ Box ]
    def. No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette, 9-2 [ Box ]
    def. No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette, 8-0 (6 inn.) [ Box ]
Women's College World Series
   def. No. 11 Oregon, 3-1 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video ]

Alabama
Regional
    def. UT Martin, 5-1 [ Box ]
    def. South Alabama, 5-2 [ Box ]
    def. South Alabama, 6-0 [ Box ]
Super Regional
    def. Michigan, 4-1 [ Box ]
    def. Michigan, 4-3 [ Box ]
Women's College World Series
    def. No. 7 Tennessee, 5-3 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video ]

Rosters: Arizona State | Alabama Schedules: Arizona State | Alabama
More Postseason: National Statistics Scoreboard  Interactive Bracket  Videos  Photos

Keeping focused is key to advancing in winner's bracket

Don't expect much to change when Alabama and Arizona State square off Friday night. The teams have made Oklahoma City a second home in recent years and they're looking to get a little rest and relaxation on Saturday. That's if they win this one. 

Alabama knows what it needs to do to advance in the winner's bracket to Sunday. It starts at the top of the order. When Kayla Braud and Jennifer Fenton do their work, things tend to roll along smoothly. 

Arizona State vs. Alabama
 
Batting Average .331 .316
Home Runs 88 93
Runs Per Game 7.0 7.0
Stolen Bases 57 138
ERA 2.03 2.14
Take Thursday for example. In their WCWS opener against Tennessee, Braud single to lead off the game and stole second before Fenton walked. Getting those two on base -- they have 84 combined stolen bases this season -- instantly intensifies the pressure on the opposing pitcher. They did just that as part of a four-run first inning Thursday, coming around to score when Cassie Reilly-Boccia laced a double to left center.

"It's been pretty clear this postseason that if Jen and I get on, things happen," Braud said. "And that's our goal every single game is we set the table. You have speed on base, and literally you can hit it anywhere and Jen and I are going to score."

Now that attacking mentality gets shifted toward Arizona State, the defending national champion. The Sun Devils came away with a 3-1 win against Pac-12 rival Oregon on Thursday despite recording only three hits.

Like Alabama, the ASU approach will remain the same. Sun Devils coach Clint Myers realized there were only three hits, but there were other areas that were clicking just fine.  

"Well, I don't think we're going to do much with the lineup," Myers said. "There was only three strikeouts.  We did get four walks. We did get a timely hit, and we did square up a couple balls. But we've got to do a better job of making better contact."

Staying true to their game has worked so far. Unlike Alabama which has yet to suffer a setback in the postseason, Arizona State lost once in the regional and super regional round. Myers has talked with his team after each of those loses, first to Syracuse and then to Louisiana-Lafayette a week ago. The message: focus on playing the same game that got you here.

"The first game of each of these series and we've had a little bit of a lack of performance, but we've always been able to bounce back with a much better, proficient execution of what we need to do," Myers said. "So these girls are amazing and I'm looking forward to [Friday night]."

                                                                                                               -- Jerry Trickie, NCAA.com

ARIZONA STATE QUICK HITS
► The defending national champion, Arizona State’s win against Oregon on Thursday was its sixth consecutive victory in Oklahoma City. Last year, ASU cruised through wins against Oklahoma, Florida and Baylor before sweeping the Gators in the championship series. 

► Although Alabama holds a 5-4 advantage in the all-time series, the Sun Devils have a 2-1 advantage in WCWS meetings. The two programs last met in OKC in the final week of 2009, a 6-2 Alabama victory.

► Arizona State has not had a smooth path through the 2012 postseason, dropping one game in each round before recovering and advancing. Syracuse forced the if necessary game at the regional, while Louisiana-Lafayette won the opening contest of the Tempe Super Regional.

ALABAMA QUICK HITS
► Alabama enters Friday's contest with a nine-game winning streak, tied for the longest in the country with Oklahoma. The Crimson Tide's last loss was in a non-conference season finale at Fordham, falling 8-5 on May 7.

► Since its last loss, Alabama swept the SEC tournament, regional and super regional, all on its home field in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

► In eight WCWS trips, Thursday marked just the second time Alabama won its opening game in Oklahoma City. The first time was last year.

► First-inning offense has been deadly against Crimson Tide opponents. After Thursday’s four-run first, Alabama has now outscored its opponents 107-23 in the first inning this year. It is 30-1 when scoring in the first inning and 43-2 when scoring first.