Great 8 Alabama strikes again with 2-0 win against Arizona

Christopher Walsh

So where should have Alabama been seeded in the NCAA Softball Tournament?

On Saturday, which at the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City is known as both Elimination Saturday and Survival Saturday, the Crimson Tide won twice against higher-seeded opponents it had winning records against during the regular season.

Actually, the games lasted so long into the night that Alabama won the nightcap 2-0 over No. 6 Arizona at approximately 12:45 a.m. CT Sunday morning.

The important part was that by doing so Alabama advanced to the World Series semifinals.

Junior first baseman Bailey Hemphill’s third-inning double brought in both of Alabama's runs, taking advantage of two walks.

She also had a the defensive play of the game by snaring a line out with the bases loaded in the fourth inning.

Freshman Montana Fouts (20-6) completed the shutout while throwing a three-hitter. She struck out nine with three walks, and threw 123 pitches.

“That was one of Montana’s best performances of the year,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said in a release. “She had nine strikeouts and held them to three hits and struck out their murderer’s row in order the first time she saw them.

"That’s a really good hitting team and for her to do that, she was throwing it really well.”

Earlier, No. 8 Alabama routed No. 5 Florida, 15-3.

The Crimson Tide had won at Arizona on Feb. 16, 6-1, and swept the regular season series at Florida. The Gators won the showdown in the SEC Tournament championship game by one run.

Yet both teams were seeded ahead of the Crimson Tide (59-9).

Alabama will again face top-seeded Oklahoma at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, but needs two victories to reach the national championship finals. The Sooners only have to win once.

Oklahoma edged Alabama in their WCWS opener on Thursday, 3-2.