Alabama softball team opens WCWS play with 6-2 win

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UA Athletics

05-29-14 WSB vs Oklahoma Women’s College World Series #3 Peyton Grantham Photo by John Michael Simpson

Kelly Ward

OKLAHOMA CITY — Behind a one-hitter from senior right-hander Jaclyn Traina, the Alabama softball team opened its play in the 2014 Women’s College World Series with a 6-2 win over defending national champion Oklahoma.

Traina (24-3) allowed a solo home run in the top of the first. She pitched seven innings, struck out nine and walked five.

“I was a little worried after she gave up the home run to [Oklahoma junior Shelby] Pendley in the first, and I thought their crowds would really get into it,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “And then after that, I mean, it was vintage Jaclyn Traina. I thought she did a really good job against a very good hitting team.”

Just like in the Super Regional, when Alabama needed the big hits, it relied on its freshmen to get things going.

Freshmen Marisa Runyon and Peyton Grantham again came up with big hits in the 6-2 win over Oklahoma. Runyon tied the game 1-1 with an RBI single in the bottom of the second.

With two outs in the top of the fourth, Oklahoma capitalized on two Alabama throwing errors. The Sooners took a 2-1 lead into the bottom half of the inning where Grantham gave the Crimson Tide its first lead of the game on a three-run home run.

“I was just trying to see the ball big and just hit it, and she got me on my first at-bat with the inside stuff,” Grantham said. “She had me with two strikes in and I just saw the changeup big and just went with it.”

After holding the Sooners scoreless in the top of the fifth, sophomore Kallie Case got things going with a single in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Jadyn Spencer followed up in the next at-bat with a two-run home run to give Alabama a 6-2 lead.

“Oklahoma’s a great team and you can’t really sit on a two-run lead like that so I think everyone in the lineup was just trying to pile it on and come out with the win tonight,” Spencer said.

After the two-run home run, the Sooners replaced starting right-hander Kelsey Stevens (37-9) with right-hander Pendley. In 1 2/3 innnings relief, she walked one and struck out two.

With the win, Alabama (51-11) will face Kentuc

ky (49-14) on Friday at 8:30 p.m

. CT on ESPN2.