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Alabama to play UCLA today in College World Series

The University of Alabama softball team plays UCLA on Thursday in the NCAA Women's College World Series. The game is in Oklahoma City at 11:00 and will be televised on ESPN.

This is the 15th time in program history that Alabama has played in the Women's College World Series. The Tide won the world series and the national championship in 2012.

The Crimson Tide Sports Network at 97.5 FM in Tuscaloosa will have the radio broadcast.

Alabama defeated Tennessee last weekend in a 3 game Super Regional series in Knoxville. The Tide lost the first game 2 to 3; then forced a game three with a 3 to 2 win two after 14 grueling innings on Saturday. This was the longest Super Regional game in NCAA history. The Tide won game three 4 to 1 to clinch the series in a game with a three hour rain delay and receive the automatic berth in the Women's World Series.

The series win over Tennessee was the Tide's 13th Super Regional victory in 18 appearances, but was only the second time they have won a super regional as the visiting team. The other won was in 2005 at Texas A&M.

The Tide has 15 letterwinners that played on last year's Women's College World Series team returning this year.

Alabama has a 22 and 27 record all-time in Oklahoma City.

Patrick Murphy is the Tide's head softball coach. He is the most successful softball coach in the program's history with their first World Series appearance coming in 1999 – his third season as head coach.

"When I first started, we were still playing slow pitch in high school," said Murphy.

"Everybody should be so proud of this group," said Murphy. "They could have listened to the negativity, and they didn't. I didn't. The staff didn't. This is one of those years where you have a team that literally grew up right before your eyes."

Murphy said that the team lost a starting pitcher, centerfielder, and catcher to injuries. All three had to have in season surgeries. Murphy credited the three players and the training staff for their return,

Pitcher Kayla Beaver not only returned but earned all-American honors. She threw 165 pitches in the 14 inning win over Tennessee Saturday.

"We are going for broke now," Murphy said.


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