Alabama Opens with Cal at Women's College World Series

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama softball team (51-9) will open the competition at the Women's College World Series against California (44-11) on Thursday. The two teams will meet at Noon CT, at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

Alabama earned its trip to Oklahoma City on the strength of being just the eighth team in history to drop the first contest and rally back with two wins to earn the berth. The Crimson Tide fell in the opener on Thursday to Stanford, 5-2, but came back in a big way on Friday to earn a convincing 10-0 win to open the day and then finish off the Cardinal with a 1-0 victory in the nightcap.

Sophomore Kayla Braud led the Tide in the Super Regional with a .500 (5-for-10) average, adding three runs and three stolen bases. Junior Jennifer Fenton closely followed with a .444 (4-for-9) mark, adding three runs, a grand slam and six RBI. Senior Kelsi Dunne went 1-1 with a 1.37 ERA while fanning 17 in 15 1/3 innings.

Alabama will be making its seventh trip (2000, '03, '05-'06, '08-'09 & '11) to Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series, the most of any team in the Southeastern Conference. The Crimson Tide sports a 6-12 record at the WCWS, reaching the semifinal round in its last two appearances (2008-09).

Alabama is still in search of winning the first game in Oklahoma City as it is 0-6 in those contests. The Crimson Tide has eight players on the roster that have been to the WCWS with five finding significant playing time. Senior Kelsi Dunne has pitched 40 2/3 innings at the WCWS with a 2-4 record and a 3.10 ERA. Senior Whitney Larsen sports a .261 average with 23 lifetime at-bats. Junior Jazlyn Lunceford hit one of the greatest home runs in Alabama history as she smacked a pinch-hit grand slam in the fourth inning against Arizona State on May 30, 2009, to give the Tide a 6-2 win. That win came on the heels of a 14-0 drubbing of Arizona, handing the Wildcats their worst loss in WCWS history.