Tide strike first

The Crimson Tide drew first blood in Oklahoma City, OK., versus the California Golden Bears as designated player Amanda Locke singled off the pitcher in the bottom of the second inning. After giving way to pinch-runner Keima Davis, the Tide were in business as Davis stole both second and third before true freshman Kaila Hunt drove an RBI single down the left field line, putting the Tide up 1-0.

Senior pitcher Kelsi Dunne has been magnificent so far. In her first three innings of work, Dunne has recorded six strikeouts and has allowed just one hit. It certainly appears Dunne has brought nothing less than her A game to Oklahoma City.

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The Alabama Crimson Tide (51-9) and California Golden Bears (44-11) are in the midst of the opening action in the 2011 Women’s College World Series in ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, OK.

Thursday’s opening round of play marks the seventh trip for the Tide (2000, ’03, ’05-’06, ’08-’09 & ’11) to Oklahoma City, the most of any team in the Southeastern Conference. The Tide have reached the semifinal in their last two trips, but sport just a 6-12 record at the WCWS.

The Tide are still in search for their first win at Oklahoma City as they are 0-6 in those contests. This Bama team is full of veterans. Eight have been to the WCWS before, with five finding a significant amount of playing time.

Senior Kelsi Dunne has tossed 40 2/3 innings in the tournament with a 2-4 record and a 3.10 ERA. Fellow senior Whitney Larson has crafted a .261 batting average with 23 lifetime at-bats in the WCWS. Junior Jazlyn Lunceford launched one of the most historic home runs in Alabama history, crushing a pinch-hit grand slam in the fourth inning versus Arizona State on May 30, 2009, to give her team a 6-2 victory.

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Golden Bears look for revenge…The last time these two teams met, California was thumped 13-1 on May 17, 2007. The Golden Bears look to reverse that trend this time around.

The Golden Bears are nearly perfect in their past 20 contests, recording an 18-2 record. A 9-0 win in game three of the Lexington Super Regional gave the Golden Bears their first appearance in the WCWS since 2005 and 11th in school history.

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