Top-seeded Oklahoma grinds out 3-2 win over Alabama at World Series

Courtesy Alabama Athletics

Christopher Walsh

Junior infielder Claire Jenkins got the Alabama softball team close, but it came up a run short against top-seeded Oklahoma during Thursday’s opening-round game at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

A two-out triple and RBI-single in the sixth inning was the difference, as the Sooners pulled out a 3-2 victory to stay in the winner's bracket.

Alabama will play Florida in an elimination game Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN. The winner of that game will advance to play the loser of Arizona vs. UCLA game in another elimination game later Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

“We just needed one more hit to go our way,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said in a release.

"If anyone is built for going through the loser’s bracket, it’s us with our pitching staff. Everybody is ready to go. I thought tonight was a well-played game between two really good teams.”

Courtesy Alabama Athletics

No. 8 Alabama (57-9) never had the lead, as the top of the Oklahoma order twice scored, in the first and third innings off freshman starter Montana Fouts.

An RBI single from junior Bailey Hemphill in the top of the third tied it up at 1-1, and gave her 79 on the season, one shy of Marisa Runyon’s single-season school record.

Jenkins tied it at 2-2 with a solo home run in the top of the fifth. She snapped an 0-for-19 drought over the last 10 games by going 2-for-3.

Oklahoma (55-3) advances to face rival Oklahoma State on Friday night.