Alabama Softball team headed to College World Series

The Alabama Crimson Tide softball team beat the Stanford Cardinal, 1-0, in the decisive third game of the 2011 NCAA Softball Tuscaloosa Super Regional in Rhoads Stadium Friday night. With the win, Alabama advances to the Women's College World Series for the seventh time in the program's 15-year history.

The Tide had to win both games on Friday after losing the series opener to the Cardinal, 5-2, Thursday. Alabama rolled in the Super Regional's second game, scoring in every inning, and invoking the run rule to win 10-0 in five innings. The third game was a much tighter affair, with both teams grinding out four hits apiece, but only one of those crossing the plate.

Freshman pitcher Jackie Traina, who singled in the bottom of the sixth inning, scored when junior Cassie Reilly-Boccia ripped a triple down the right-field line. Traina (18-5), who picked up the win, came back in the top of the seventh and picked up her fifth strike out and forced two ground outs to finish off the game. Teagan Gerhart, who pitched 16 of the Cardinal's 18 innings over the three games, picked up the loss to go to 26-13 on the season.

The Tide, which has advanced to 13 NCAA tournaments in its 15 years, has now won five Super Regional titles and returns to WCWS for the first time since earning back-to-back berths in 2008 and 2009.