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Women’s College World Series: Recap, highlights from Tennessee’s 10-5 win over Alabama

An opening statement.


After running through the SEC Tournament, the Knoxville Regional and then Texas, the Tennessee Lady Vols punched their ticket to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. It’s their first appearance since 2015, and wouldn’t you know it — they drew No. 5 seed Alabama to open.

Tennessee turned to their senior ace Ashley Rogers on the mound, and she immediately had to dance out of some trouble in the first. Alabama put two on, but Rogers was able to generate three straight pop-outs to wiggle out of the frame.

The Lady Vols gave her some big help in the second inning, piling on four runs to take a 4-0 lead. Zaida Puni doubled to drive in two, then Katie Taylor drove in two more with another double.

Alabama would get two back in the third, taking advantage of a couple of walks to cut the lead in half.

Jamison Brockenbrough would get those two runs right back, smashing a homerun to center to give the Lady Vols a 6-2 lead.

Alabama would misplay a pop fly in the fourth inning — one that ended up being scored a hit for McKenna Gibson. It ended up being an RBI double for Gibson, leaving two baserunners on for Rylie West. And West promptly smacked one over the left field wall.

Very quickly, Tennessee was up 10-2 and in position to run rule Alabama to open the Women’s College World Series.

Payton Gottshall got the call to close things out in the fifth inning. The Crimson Tide strung together a couple of singles to put two on, and Kenleigh Cahalan kept Alabama breathing. A two-run double would take the run rule off of the table for now. Gottshall would get out of the inning, but now Tennessee had some work left to do with a 10-4 lead.

Milloy, Taylor and Puni all got on base, loading them up and only needing two runs to end it. McKenna Gibson blooped one, but Kenleigh Cahalan made a great leaping catch in shallow left to keep Alabama alive.

Marlie Giles hit a solo shot in the sixth to cut the lead down to 10-5, but that’s all Alabama had left. The Lady Vols would close this one out, 10-5.

Tennessee advances to face the winner of (1) Oklahoma vs. (9) Stanford. That game will take place on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. Alabama will now face an elimination game.