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Arizona softball to face Alabama in Women’s College World Series elimination game

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Photo by Ryan Kelapire

OKLAHOMA CITY — It took a while, but Arizona softball finally knows its opponent for Saturday night’s Women’s College World Series elimination game.

The sixth-seeded Wildcats will be taking on No. 8 Alabama, who run-ruled No. 5 Florida 15-3 earlier in the day to keep its season alive. That game was originally scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. PT, but inclement weather pushed back the start time several hours.

Alabama (58-9) and Arizona (48-13) faced each other on Feb. 16 in Tucson. The Crimson Tide won 6-1, thanks in part to four Wildcat errors.

The rematch will commence 30 minutes after the Oklahoma State-Washington game ends. That contest is scheduled to start at 6:21 p.m. PT, so the approximate time for the Arizona’-Alabama game is 9 p.m. PT on ESPN.

The winner will need to beat No. 1 seed Oklahoma twice Sunday to advance to the championship series.

Alabama started No. 2 pitcher Sarah Cornell in its blowout of Florida, meaning ace Montana Fouts will likely start against the Wildcats.

The freshman is 19-6 with a 1.51 ERA. Fouts pitched a complete game in Tucson in February, allowing six hits while striking out eight. The lone run she did give up was unearned.

It remains to be seen who the Wildcats will start. Senior ace Taylor McQuillin started Thursday and Friday, but has not pitched three consecutive days all season. The left-hander permitted six runs (three earned) in February’s loss to Alabama.

“The best part about playing them early on in the season is it was early in the season,” she said Friday. “We hadn’t found our team chemistry and developed the chemistry that our team has now. We’re completely a different team.

“Also, it’s the postseason, a whole different season, whole new ballgame. Doesn’t matter who is on the field, we need to come out and play Arizona softball, perform to the best of our abilities every time we step on the field.”

This story will be updated.