Wednesday, June 06, 2012

2012 WCWS Game 3

We're finally underway. Alabama is officially the home team. The Crimson Tide is looking to become the first team from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to win the Women's College World Series (Florida lost in the 2009 and 2011 finals, and Tennessee lost in the 2007 finals; here's a summary chart of all WCWS results). Oklahoma is going for its second WCWS title, as the 2000 Sooners won the school's first softball title. I'll be live-blogging during the game...

With an Oklahoma fan's sign referring to "K-Lani," Sooner pitcher Keilani Ricketts strikes out the side in the bottom of the first.

Ricketts then comes up to bat and leads off the top of the second with a home-run blast to right.

OU's Lauren Chamberlain adds a two-run blast to left to make it 3-0.

Alabama gets its first two hits of the game in the bottom of the third, although neither ball left the infield.

The rain has returned, but play is continuing.

Bama gets on the board with two out in the bottom of the fourth on, as play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins points out, "a single and three wild pitches."

With the rain intensifying, it appears that play is being suspended briefly with two outs. As field reporter Holly Rowe informs us, the umpires will discuss whether to impose a longer suspension. Apparently, the footing is still OK, but Ricketts is claiming she cannot properly grasp the ball due to the rain. Alabama seems to be arguing that Ricketts should have to complete the inning, just as the Tide's Jackie Traina had to do in the top half. Meanwhile, the Bama players are leading their fans in some cheers!

The decision is made to resume play without a long delay.

A two-out single by Amanda Locke with a runner on second brings in another Alabama run, cutting OU's lead to 3-2 (the hitter takes second on the unsuccessful throw home). A drive to the warning track by Courtney Conley ties the score.

OU messes up two potential chances to get out of the inning with the score tied, on a grounder to short. The first-baseperson bobbles the throw from the shortstop, then the throw from first to the catcher when Conley heads home gets away. The Tide leads 4-3.

The Sooners finally get out of the inning, on a cleanly fielded play when the Tide hitter tries to bunt for a base hit.

With OU batting in the top of the fifth, my TV picture is going in and out, presumably due to the OKC storms. I see that the Sooners have gotten a two-out walk. I'm now following the game on the Internet (link). OU doesn't score in the inning.

OK, my picture is back. Alabama has a runner on third with one out in the bottom of the fifth, seeking to extend its one-run lead.Bama pitcher Jackie Traina drives a hard single to right, upping the Tide's lead to 5-3. Ricketts allows no further damage.

OU shows a little offensive spark in the top of the sixth, with a one-out single. A weak pop-up to short, however, makes it two down for the Sooners.And a strike-out makes it three.

Alabama goes down quietly in the bottom of the sixth.

Oklahoma is down to its final three outs, needing two runs to tie...

Bang-bang play on an OU grounder to third -- narrowly out at first.

A dribbler up the first-base line. OU's runner is called out for running inside the baseline, after a collision with the Bama fielder.

A two-out homer by Lauren Chamberlain, her second of the game, cuts the Tide lead to 5-4.

Keilani Ricketts up with a chance to make up for her pitching difficulties. She strikes out looking, ending the game.

ALABAMA BECOMES THE FIRST SEC TEAM TO WIN THE WOMEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES.

***

The decisive Game 3 of the Women's College World Series has been delayed by rain in Oklahoma City. As shown in the following screen capture I took from weather.com, the current rain over OKC appears relatively light. According to ESPN, the game will start at 9:45 pm Central.