NO. 2 ALABAMA Crimson Tide
Overall Record: 59-8
Conference: Southeastern (1st, 23-5)
   Head Coach: Patrick Murphy

vs.
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NO. 4 OKLAHOMA Sooners
Overall Record: 54-9
Conference: Big 12 (1st, 19-5)
Head Coach: Patty Gasso

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CRIMSON TIDE AND SOONERS MEET

Venue: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Date: June 6
Time: 10:55 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN2 / ESPN3 
Announcers:
   Beth Mowins (play by play)
   Michelle Smith (color)
   Jessica Mendoza (color)
   Holly Rowe (field reporter)

Who to Watch for the Crimson Tide: OF Jennifer Fenton, .387, 65 R, 40 RBI, 44 SB; SS Kaila Hunt, .311, 21 HR, 76 RBI; P/UT Jackie Traina, 41-3, 1.81 ERA, 355 K, .319, 10 HR, 36 RBI 

Who to Watch for the Sooners: P/DP Keilani Ricketts, 37-8, 1.03 ERA, 450 K, .396, 16 HR, 48 RBI; C Jessica Shults, .385, 20 HR, 65 RBI; 1B Lauren Chamberlain, .352, 28 HR, 75 RBI

IN THE 2012 POSTSEASON

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 ]
    def. No. 3 Arizona St., 2-1 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video ]
    def. No. 1 California, 5-3 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video ]
    lost to No. 4 Oklahoma, 4-1 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video ]
    def. No. 4 Oklahoma, 8-6 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video ]

Feature: Getting to the core of Bama’s strength
Feature: Breaking down the title contenders
Feature: Bama set to follow season motto: Finish it

Oklahoma
Regional
    def. Lehigh, 19-3 (5 inn.) [ Box ]
    def. Tulsa, 7-1 [ Box ]
    def. Oregon State, 6-0 [ Box ]
Super Regional
    def. No. 13 Arizona, 6-0 [ Box ]
    def. No. 13 Arizona, 7-1 [ Box ]
Women’s College World Series
    def. USF, 5-1 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video ]
    def. No. 1 California, 3-0 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video ]
    def. No. 4 Arizona St., 5-3 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video ]
    def. No. 2 Alabama, 4-1 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video
    lost to No. 2 Alabama, 8-6 [ Box ] [ Recap ] [ Video ]  

Feature: Sooners have punch on offense, defense
Feature: WCWS best medicine for OU's Shults

Rosters: Alabama | Oklahoma Schedules: Alabama | Oklahoma
More Postseason: National Statistics Scoreboard  Interactive Bracket  Video  Photos

With series tied, Alabama and Oklahoma playing for keeps 

It all comes down to this, a situation competitors live for. No. 2 Alabama battled back with a not-so-easy 8-6 victory Tuesday, forcing a Game 3, winner-takes-all showdown on Wednesday night.

Get ready. If the last two nights are any indication, it will be memorable.

Just 24 hours after posting only five hits in a 4-1 loss, Alabama had only four on Tuesday. But these counted more as two were doubles of the bases-clearing variety by Jackie Traina and Amanda Locke. Both came with two outs, a common theme in the WCWS this year. 

Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said Traina and Locke had extremely different at-bats. Traina was locked in and "was the right person at the right time. She was pretty hot." 

For Locke, it was the opposite. Despite a home run on Friday, she had been struggling, but found a pitch she liked at an opportune time for the Tide, something they'll need more of Wednesday if they hope to bring home the first national title not only in Alabma history, but for all of the Southeastern Conference.

Alabama vs. Oklahoma
 
Batting Average .314 .321
Home Runs 97 99
Runs Per Game 6.6 6.5
Stolen Bases 140 66
ERA 2.14 1.18

"That's two hits, six runs. You never know when that's going to happen," Murphy said. "You know, they left a ton of people on base [Monday]. We come up with two hits to score six runs [Tuesday]. So it's a strange game of softball."

He's right. The Sooners left 12 on base Monday. Tuesday it was nine, although they didn't leave many in the bottom of the seventh when OU rallied for five runs after opening the inning trailing 8-1. It's been that kind of series.

Now, the Sooners are the ones who have to regroup. Head coach Patty Gasso thinks that already started.

"I think one of the greatest things that has happened in this tournament is what we did in the seventh inning [Tuesday]," Gasso said. "Whether we won or lost, the message that we sent, and the confidence we brought is probably one of the most proud moments I've had with this team in not quitting."

The message sent? We know you're good, but we're here for a reason too. Bring on Game 3.

"They scored five runs off of one of the best pitchers in the country saying 'We're going to be back [Wednesday]," Gasso said. "We're coming in locked in and ready to fight."

Tuesday they weren't. OU scored first but then made uncharacteristic errors in the field, the circle and at the plate as Alabama led by seven before the end of the fourth. National player of the year Keilani Ricketts hit five batters and lasted only 3.1 innings. The offense couldn't do anything to lift it.

"We didn't play well. We didn't earn it. We didn't deserve it," Gasso said. "But we have another shot."

It will include trotting Ricketts back out to the circle. She'll be rested while Traina pitched another complete game, something OU is taking into its favor after getting to see more pitches from the national leader in wins (41).

Both teams will be eyeing the trophy, and one will have to keep a streak alive to do it. Neither has lost more than one game to an opponent this season. That will change Wednesday, but at least they still have a chance.

"We have a tomorrow, which is wonderful," Gasso said. "We've got a tomorrow, and the idea is that this game was meant to be. It's going to be great for the fans. It's going to be great for both teams. It's going to be hard fought. It's going to be wonderful for softball. We're going to be a part of history. And we're going to fight tooth and nail to go for the victory."

                                                                                                               -- Jerry Trickie, NCAA.com

ALABAMA QUICK HITS
► Alabama won the coin flip and will be the home team for Wednesday’s deciding game.

► In the eight-year history of the best-of-3 championship series format, Wednesday marks the third time a Game 3 has been forced. In both previous instances (Michigan defeated UCLA in 2005, Arizona defeated Tennessee in 2007), the Game 2 winner hoisted the championship trophy.

► Alabama senior Jessica Fenton recorded her 44th steal of the season, swiping second in the second inning. She came around to score in that frame.

► Sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina went 2 for 4 in the game with three RBI and a double. Those two hits gave her five in the WCWS and three in the championship series. In the circle, she now has 41 wins on the season to lead Division I.

► Alabama’s eight runs on Tuesday night was the Crimson Tide’s largest offensive output of the 2012 postseason. Its previous high was six in a shutout of South Alabama to win the Tuscaloosa Regional on May 20.

OKLAHOMA QUICK HITS
► Oklahoma junior Keilani Ricketts hit a WCWS record-tying five batters during her 3.1 innings in the circle on Tuesday night. She struck out five and walked one, but was relieved in the top of the fourth inning. She was charged with six runs, two earned.

► Prior to Tuesday’s relief appearance, junior Michelle Gascoigne had pitched just once during OU’s postseason. She pitched 1.1 innings in relief during the Sooners' regional opener against Lehigh, striking out three, walking one and allowing three earned runs on two hits.

► Jessica Shults’ three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning was her 20th of the season and the team’s 99th this year. She now leads all WCWS participants with eight RBI.

► Destinee Martinez’s triple in the bottom of the seventh inning was her first of the season and her team’s second of this WCWS. Ricketts tripled in the team’s WCWS opener vs. South Florida. Martinez went 2 for 3 and pushed her hitting streak to 16 games while batting a WCWS-best .529 (9-for-17) in five games. She is 7-for-10 in her last three games.