OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- In a tightly contested game, Alabama advanced to Sunday’s semifinals with a 2-1 victory against defending NCAA Champion Arizona State. The Sun Devils (52-10) will playon Saturday in an elimination game against either South Florida or LSU. Alabama (57-7) will take the field next on Sunday.

Alabama pitcher Jackie Trania held Arizona State’s lineup hitless for three full innings, but with the first Sun Devil hit of the game came the first run. ASU’s rally started with a walk drawn by catcher Amanda Freeman, who was replaced by pinch-runner Kayla Ketchum. After a walk was issued to first baseman Annie Lockwood, Ketchum would come around to score on a single through the right side of the infield hit by second baseman Sam Parlich, to give ASU the 1-0 lead.

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The Crimson Tide would answer in the next half-inning. Third baseman Courtney Conley beat out an infield single to give Alabama a runner. Kayla Braud then grounded out to advance Conley, who would score on a Jennifer Fenton single to right field, tying the game at 1-1.

In the top of the sixth inning, Alabama took the lead on a one-out home run crushed to left center field by designated player Amanda Locke, her 18th of the season. That gave the Crimson Tide a 2-1 lead.

Arizona State would not go quietly in the bottom of the seventh. Talor Haro led off the inning with a hit that touched both the third baseman and shortstop, but neither was able to field the ball. When Katelyn Boyd put down a sacrifice bunt to advance Haro, Conley was able to field the ball and fire to second base to get the lead runner.

A passed ball advanced Boyd to second base, but Trania struck out Alix Johnson and Haley Steele, to earn the win for Alabama.

Trania finished with 11 strikeouts, scattering three hits and walking five, allowing one run. Offensively, Locke went 2-for-2 while Fenton finished 2-for-4, each responsible for an RBI in the contest.

ASU sophomore Dallas Escobedo finished with nine strikeouts, walking two, while allowing seven hits. No Sun Devil tallied multiple hits, while Parlich had the lone RBI of the contest for her team.


• Friday’s session attendance was 9,202, the largest single-session attendance number in WCWS history. The previous record of 9,080 was set during the Saturday evening session (Session 5) in 2010.