TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama softball defeated Northwestern, 3-2, in Sunday's game three of the Tuscaloosa Super Regional to punch the Crimson Tide's 14th ticket to the Women's College World Series.
No. 5 seed Alabama (45-20) will be making its 14th appearance in Oklahoma City, returning after a one-year absence. After falling to Northwestern (42-13) in game one of the Super Regional, the Crimson Tide rallied to take games two and three, marking the third time in program history Alabama has done so. Both previous instances also occurred in Tuscaloosa, against Stanford in 2011 and Oklahoma in 2015.
Alabama opens play at the 2023 Women's College World Series Thursday, June 1 at 11 a.m. CT against Tennessee on ESPN.
Montana Fouts (25-10) earned the win in relief, the 100th of her career in her final game at Rhoads Stadium. She is the fourth player in program history to earn 100 wins, joining Shelley Laird (115), Kelsi Dunne (113) and Jackie Traina (106).
After a one-hour lightning delay in the bottom of the third, two singles and a walk quickly loaded the bases for Alabama before Ally Shipman roped a single down the left field line, driving in two to give the Crimson Tide the first lead of the game. With two on and one out in the top of the fourth, Fouts entered to pitch in relief. After a strikeout for out number two, a bloop single to shallow center drove in a run before a force out at third base ended the half-inning with the score now 2-1.
Leading off the bottom of the fifth, Jenna Johnson bounced one off the foul pole for a solo home run to make it a 3-1 game. With the score the same in the top of the seventh, a one-out solo home run from Maeve Nelson cut the lead to one but a groundout and strikeout sealed the victory to send the Tide to OKC.
From Head Coach Patrick Murphy
"First, I want to congratulate Northwestern on a great year. They are a great opponent and a classy bunch. Great fans and great coaching staff. I'm sure their seniors are going to do great things in life with a hell of a degree from Northwestern University. I cannot tell you how gratifying the last two weeks have been. It's been such a great team to coach with great senior leadership and everyone has bought in. It has been a storybook season with everything we've been through. It's still an unreal feeling sitting here knowing we're going to Oklahoma City."
- This marks Alabama's 14th trip to the Women's College World Series (2000, 2003, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2011-12, 2014-16, 2019, 2021, 2023)
- The Crimson Tide is now 26-14 all-time in Super Regional play, including a 23-6 mark at home
- Alabama has now won 12 of the 17 Super Regional rounds it has played in since the current postseason format was adopted in 2005, including 11 of the 12 in Tuscaloosa
- This is the third time the Crimson Tide has lost the opening game of the Super Regional round and rallied to take games two and three, previously doing so in 2011 vs. Stanford and 2015 vs. Oklahoma
- Montana Fouts earned her 100th career win in her final game at Rhoads Stadium, becoming the fourth Alabama pitcher to do so
- Jenna Johnson was 2-for-2 including the solo home run, her sixth homer of the season and 10th multi-hit game
- B3 | Ally Shipman drove in two with a bases-loaded single down the line (2-0, 1 Out)
- T4 | An RBI single to shallow center drove in a run for the Wildcats (2-1, 2 Out)
- B5 | Jenna Johnson led off the inning with a solo home run off the foul pole (3-1, 0 Out)
- T7 | Maeve Nelson made it a one-run game with a solo home run (3-2, 1 Out)
Up Next: Women's College World Series (Oklahoma City)
- Thursday, June 1 vs. Tennessee - 11 a.m. CT