Runyon's go-ahead grand slam gives Alabama series win vs. Oklahoma
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Facing a one-game deficit in a best-of-three series against Oklahoma, Alabama won game two, 2-0, to force a deciding game three which the Tide won 5-3 courtesy of a sixth-inning grand slam by Marisa Runyon. The win secures Alabama's 10th trip to the Women's College World Series, which begins Thursday, May 28 in Oklahoma City.
Alabama has now made it to the Women's College World Series in four of the past five years, including a national title in 2012 and a runner-up finish in 2014. This is just the 14th time in the history of the Super Regional round that a team has come back from a game one loss to win games two and three. Alabama accomplished this feat previously in 2011, falling in game one to Stanford before rebounding with wins in games two and three.
Alabama (47-13) was again led by two gutsy performances by Alexis Osorio (21-8) in the circle, who threw a combined 241 pitches between Saturday's two games. The NFCA Freshman of the Year candidate shut out the potent Oklahoma (49-9) offense in game one before allowing three runs on five hits in game two, including a pair of home runs by NCAA career leader Lauren Chamberlain. Marisa Runyon, who was hitless over her previous 13 at-bats, made her final one of the weekend count, blasting a go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning that gave the Tide a 5-3 lead, which proved final. The grand slam now ties her with Charlotte Morgan for the single season RBI record at Alabama with 79.
Oklahoma's own Freshman of the Year candidate Paige Parker (28-7) threw every inning this weekend for the Sooners, allowing a combined nine runs over 20.0 innings pitched in three complete games. All three of Chamberlain's hits this weekend were home runs, as she ends her career with an NCAA record 95 home runs.