When Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy inserted freshman Jazlyn Lunceford for his All-American leadoff hitter Brittany Rogers with the bases loaded, she cranked a memorable grand slam that lifted the Crimson Tide in a 2009 Women’s College World Series elimination game.
Who could forget legendary pitcher Jackie Traina blowing away Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts to win the 2012 national championship, the program’s first-ever national title?
One moment that belongs in the same breath as these two is Marisa Runyon’s heroic grand slam that sent Alabama to the WCWS in 2015.
Marisa Runyon’s Heroic Grand Slam
Alabama was facing Oklahoma in the NCAA Super Regionals at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
In the winner-take-all game that would send one team to Oklahoma City and the other back to their couches, ‘Bama was down 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning. The bases were loaded, however, and sophomore infielder Marisa Runyon was up with two outs to decide the Crimson Tide’s fate.
You couldn’t have scripted it better. Runyon struck out to end the game the night before. She was ice-cold at the plate all weekend. Still, this was her time.
On the first pitch she saw, Runyon blasted a grand slam to right. She immediately knew it was gone.
“It was up and in. I remember it so clearly,” Runyon recalled in 2016.
“We didn’t even wait for the ball to go out, we just knew right when she hit it,” teammate Kallie Case said.
Runyon hit 19 home runs that season. None were bigger than that one.
Alabama went on to win, 5-3. The Crimson Tide won their Super Regional tournament and advanced to the Women’s College World Series, where they unfortunately fell to Michigan and LSU.
Still, Marisa Runyon’s heroic grand slam will always sit among the greatest moments in Alabama softball history. There’s no doubt she’ll always be a legend in Tuscaloosa.