Overcoming a nearly three-hour rain delay, an early and determined punch from the Oklahoma Sooners and another brief rain delay in the fourth inning, Jackie Traina and the Alabama Crimson Tide perservered, rallied and won the school’s first ever softball national championship.
Oklahoma led 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Rain began to fall and suddenly, Sooner ace Keilani Ricketts lost concentration on the mound and lost control of her pitches. The Sooners coaching staff managed to get a delay called.
The differences between the dugouts told the story.
The Sooners sat, steaming.
The Crimson Tide played in the rain and in the dugout as if they were at an unsupervised summer camp.
When play resumed, the differences in outlook and attitude played out on the field.
Two doubles from the Tide and a infield error by the Sooners led to the Tide taking its first lead of the game.
Traina gave the Tide one insurance run in the fifth: An RBI single scored Jennifer Fenton to make it 5-3.
The Sooners closed within one in the seventh with a Lauren Chamberlain solo homer, but Traina closed the deal, striking out Ricketts and earning MVP honors.
Alabama is the first Southeastern Conference team to win the softball championship and the first team from outside the PAC-12 to win it since 2005.
"Who wouldn't want to be the first SEC team to win it?" Traina said. "That just makes it that much better."
Amen. ROLL TIDE.