Softball seeks to deliver on prediction at Women’s College World Series
May 30, 2019
Alabama softball’s 2019 season started 2,524 miles away from Tuscaloosa in the 2018 Seattle Super Regional.
The 36-20 Crimson Tide were swept by the 52-10 Washington Huskies, a team that would go on to the NCAA Championship series.
After the game, then sophomore Elissa Brown made the statement that would set the course for the 2019 Alabama Crimson Tide:
“This senior class is going to bring us back to the Women’s College World Series and we are going to win it.”
A year and four days later from the final loss to Washington, Alabama completed part one of Brown’s prophecy, but not without its fair share of skeptics and critics.
Before the season started, Alabama was projected to finish eighth in the SEC in the 2019 Preseason Coaches’ Poll. “Team 23,” the nickname given to the 23rd softball team in Alabama history, responded with the best start in program history, going 33-0.
From there, Alabama would lose just six games the rest of the season, finishing the regular season 50-6. Despite losing in the SEC Championship game to Florida, Alabama seemed to be a lock for a top-five position for postseason play.
Once again, the number eight became a figment of motivation for the Crimson Tide as it slid to the eighth spot for the NCAA Super Regional tournament. Alabama was the only team to win 50-plus games in the bracket. Once again, the team came out ready to go as it swept through regional play, including two wins over a powerful Arizona State offense.
UA faced Texas in the Tuscaloosa Super Regional. The series would require all three games between the two schools. However, the Crimson Tide prevailed with an 8-5 win in game three against the Longhorns.
Now Alabama may face its toughest challenge this season as it takes on the Oklahoma Sooners in game one of the Women’s College World Series.
The Sooners have rolled through regular season and post-season play, going 54-3 in 2019 thanks to a dominant offense. Oklahoma leads the nation in batting average, on-base percentage and leads the nation in three other offensive categories. Similar to Texas, no deficit is too much for the Sooners as it can score an average of seven runs per game.
For Alabama to be successful in this game, the Crimson Tide needs to match the offensive firepower that Oklahoma is going to bring. Another key is Alabama’s pitching. If it can limit the walks to Oklahoma, Alabama will have the chance to win in a close game.
First pitch is scheduled for Thursday, May 30 at 8:30 p.m. Spectators at home can watch the game on ESPN2.