Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy lists top 5 WCWS moments

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama softball has plenty of Women's College World Series appearances during coach Patrick Murphy's 23-year tenure. 

The Crimson Tide is making its 13th trip this year, with a game against Arizona on Thursday scheduled for Alabama's WCWS opener in Oklahoma City.

Alabama won the whole thing in 2012 and it earned a runner-up finish in 2014.

With all these WCWS experiences, there is no shortage of memorable WCWS moments. 

The Tuscaloosa News asked Murphy to pick his top five moments from Alabama's time at the WCWS over the years. 

Here are his selections: 

Jackie Traina strikes out Keilani Ricketts

June 6, 2012: Murphy didn't have to think hard about this one. 

Heading into the top of the seventh inning, Alabama held a 5-3 lead over Oklahoma in Game 3 of the championship series. Jackie Traina gave up a home run to bring the Sooners within one, and a rally could have easily started. 

Traina put a quite halt to it. Keilani Ricketts struck out swinging for the third out, giving Alabama its first softball championship. 

"That’s embedded in everybody’s mind," Murphy said. 

Jazlyn Lunceford's pinch-hit grand slam

May 30, 2009: This moment was nothing short of remarkable. 

Alabama was facing the defending national champion in Arizona State in an elimination game. Freshman ace Hillary Bach was pitching, and the Crimson Tide had the bases loaded. 

Naturally, Murphy sent freshman Jazlyn Lunceford to pinch hit for an All-American outfielder in Brittany Rogers. 

Talk about gutsy. And it worked. 

Grand slam. Opposite field. Lunceford's hit propelled Alabama to the victory. 

"It was the loudest I’ve ever heard a game," Murphy said. "There were about 11,000 people there. It was nuts." 

Eliminating Cal

June 3, 2012: Alabama defeating top-seeded Cal was one game that stuck out for Murphy. 

The win put Alabama in the championship series against Oklahoma. 

"(We'd) never done that before," Murphy said. "It was a great game, too."

The Crimson Tide won, 5-2, thanks to consistent hitting. Alabama scored a run in five straight innings, starting with the second. 

Traina gave up only two hits all game. She also hit a home run in the second inning. Lunceford and Kaila Hunt each hit home runs, too. 

Defeating DePaul in 2000

May 27, 2000: Murphy had to include his first WCWS win with Alabama. 

The Crimson Tide had lost in the first round in Murphy's first trip, so it had to beat DePaul to survive. 

Alabama won 6-4, scoring two runs in the sixth inning. An infield error, singles from Christy Kyle and Kelly Askew and a sacrifice from Jennifer Reach made that inning possible. 

"It was just a great game," Murphy said. "DePaul was a big-time softball school." 

An Arizona statement

May 30, 2009: Murphy decided to not only pick a moment from May 30 but also the whole day as his No. 5 WCWS moment. 

The Crimson Tide eliminated not one but two schools from Arizona in the Wildcats and Sun Devils. 

Lose either game and Alabama would have been eliminated. 

"The SEC (softball) wasn’t really looked upon as something great then," Murphy said. "We made a statement by eliminating both of them. They were two huge wins."