Alabama eliminates NU in softball Super Regional
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Ally Shipman had a 2-run single, Jenna Johnson drove in what proved to be the winning run with a fifth-inning home run and Alabama held off Northwester 3-2 to win the best-of-3 Tuscaloosa Super Regional after a 61-minute lightning delay on Sunday, advancing to the Women's College World Series.
The victory in the rubber game of the series earns the fifth-seeded Crimson Tide (45-20) their 11th appearance in the WCWS. Alabama won it all in 2012, beating Oklahoma two games to one. The Crimson Tide were runners-up in 2014, losing two straight games to Florida in the final series.
Shipman gave Alabama the lead for good after play resumed in the bottom of the third inning. No. 9 hitter Kristen White had an infield single and stole second base. Ashley Prange drew a walk and Johnson beat out a bunt to load the bases. Bailey Dowling flied out to shallow center field for the first out, but Shipman singled down the left-field line on a 0-2 pitch and the Tide led 2-0.
The 12th-seeded Wildcats (42-13), who were aiming for their third WCWS appearance, answered with a run in the top of the fourth on Kelsey Nader's two-out RBI single.
Johnson homered to lead off the fifth to push the Alabama lead back to two.
Maeve Nelson hit a solo homer with one out in the ninth for Northwestern, but reliever Montana Fouts retired the next two batter for her 25th win against 10 losses this season. It was the only run Fouts allowed in 3 2/3 innings. Jaala Torrence started and yielded just one run in 3 1/3 innings.
Danielle Williams (23-3) took the loss for the Wildcats. She allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and two walks in going the distance.
Alabama dropped the opener 3-1 before forcing a third game with a 2-1 victory on Saturday.
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