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TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- No. 12 seed Northwestern took Friday’s opener of the Tuscaloosa Super Regional, defeating No. 5 seed Alabama 3-1.
With the loss, Alabama (43-20) will need to win game two on Saturday to force a winner-take-all game three on Sunday, while one more win would send Northwestern (42-11) into the Series. Women’s University World Cup. The Crimson Tide have lost the first game of a Super Regional series five times, coming back to win in three games in 2011 against Stanford and 2015 against Oklahoma, both in Tuscaloosa.
Northwestern scored the first run of the game in the top of the second on Angela Zedak’s solo home run. Alabama threatened in the bottom half, loading the bases with two outs for the top of the order, but a long fly ball ended the inning as the Wildcats broke out of the jam with a one-run lead. The Wildcats added another run in the third and fourth innings to lead 3-0 before the Crimson Tide scored in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a baserunning heads-up by Jordan Stephens, who moved from first to home. . The Wildcats stranded a combined four runners in the final three innings, unable to add to their lead, but the Tide couldn’t threaten either, as the 3-1 score ultimately turned out to be final.
After suffering an injury in the SEC Tournament against Arkansas on May 11, Montana Fouts (23-10) made her return to the circle pitching 3.1 innings in the start, while Jaala Torrence backed her up with 3.2 scoreless innings in relief. For the second time in the last three games, Ashley Prange went 2-for-3 including a first-inning double, her 10th of the season.
From Head Coach Patrick Murphy
“The goal of the weekend is to win two games. They won the first one, so we have to win tomorrow to play Sunday. Tomorrow is our focus. Today was a fact-finding mission. We have an idea of what they do.” now so we’re going to go home and watch a movie and study and come out with a great game plan for tomorrow night. Players just need to keep their balance. They’ve been playing this game since they were five years old.”
- Alabama is now 24-14 in Super Regionals, including a 21-6 mark at home
- This marks the sixth time the Crimson Tide have lost the opening game of the Super Regional round, with Alabama coming back from behind to win the series in three games in 2011 against Stanford and 2015 against Oklahoma.
- Ashley Prange’s 2-of-3 day marked her 13th multi-hit game of the season, one shy of Bailey Dowling for the team lead.
- Montana Fouts now has 314 strikeouts this season, 17 fewer than seventh-place finisher Kelsi Dunne, and 1,172 career strikeouts.
- T2 | Angela Zedak put Northwestern on the board with a solo home run (0-1, 2 Out)
- T3 | A bases-loaded infield single drove in a run for the Wildcats (0-2, 1 out)
- T4 | Kelsey Nader drove in a run with an RBI single up the middle (0-3, 1 out)
- B4 | Jordan Stephens caught the defense sleeping as he went from first to third before breaking for the plate (1-3, 2 out)
Next: vs. #12 Northwestern (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
- Saturday, May 27 – 8 p.m. CT – ESPN