North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Local Sports

May 20, 2014

NCAA Softball Regionals: Mortimer Jordan grads battle for trip to Women’s World Series

TUSCALOOSA — It looked a bit like a Mortimer Jordan softball reunion, but in the end it was just the next step for Alabama toward the Women’s College World Series.

The Crimson Tide, featuring Blue Devil standouts Haylie McCleney and Danae Hays, defeated South Alabama 3-0 in the finals of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional on Saturday.

The Jaguars, whose roster includes Jordan grads Blair Johnson and Alyssa Linn, were held to just two hits by Tide ace pitcher Jackie “J-Train” Traina.

McCleney gave Bama all the offense they needed, as she smacked a line drive into center field in the second inning for a triple that scored two runs, including Hays as a pinch runner for Traina.

South Alabama had to battle back from an opening-day 5-3 loss to South Carolina Upstate, but battled back through the loser’s bracket in the double-elimination tournament. They easily ousted Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and then SC Upstate on Saturday to set up the showdown with the Tide in the finals.

Meanwhile, Bama went through their first two games with relative ease, taking down SIUE in a 13-3 run-rule victory Thursday, followed by a 7-1 win over SC Upstate.

Alabama will host Nebraska in a best-of-three super regional, with the first game Thursday at 7 p.m. (ESPN), followed by the second game Friday at 5 p.m. (ESPNU) and an if-necessary game to follow. The Tide have advanced to the super regionals for the 10th straight time, an NCAA record.

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