Alabama, Oklahoma to play for title in Women's College World Series

The Pac 12's run of Women's College World Series championships has been interrupted.

Jackie Traina homered and threw a two-hitter, Kaila Hunt and Jazlyn Lunceford also connected and Alabama beat top-seeded California 5-2 on Sunday to reach the Women's College World Series finals for the first time.

The No. 2 seed Crimson Tide (58-7) will face Oklahoma (53-8), which knocked off defending champion Arizona State 5-3 in the other semifinal. Both teams arrive on 11-game winning streaks.

The best-of-three championship series starting Monday night marks the first time since 1986 that no Pac-12 teams made it to the finals. The conference had won six straight titles, 10 of the past 11 and 23 of 30 since the tournament started.

"There's athletes everywhere now - I mean everywhere - and if you find them, you're going to put together a good team," Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said.

"It doesn't matter who it is or where you're at. Cold weather, warm weather, East Coast, West Coast, if you can put them together and you can coach them up, you're going to have a good team and I think it's great for the sport."

This time, it will be the Big 12 going for its fourth NCAA title while Alabama will go for the Southeastern Conference's first.

"The way we've gone through this tournament, we've played the best and I like it that way because we've earned the right to be here," said Oklahoma coach Patty Gasso, whose fourth-seeded Sooners beat California on Friday night before knocking Arizona State out of the double-elimination event.

Oklahoma is in the finals for the first time since winning its only national championship in 2000, when the title was decided with a single game.

Katie Norris homered, Keilani Ricketts struck out 13 and the Sooners struck for four runs in the third inning.

- Associated Press


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