Five SCV alums make College Softball World Series 

Hart's Jordyn Gasper (11), left, high-fives teammate Abby Sweet (26) after defeating Paraclete in a CIF-Southern Section playoff softball game at Hart on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

The College Softball World Series begins Thursday with eight teams fighting for the NCAA crown in Oklahoma City. 

Five Santa Clarita alumnae will be competing in the tournament, and three of them will meet in the first round. 

Former Saugus Centurions McKenna Gibson and Grace Keene of No. 4 Tennessee will play a first-round matchup with No. 5 Alabama, which is led behind the plate by Valencia alumna Ally Shipman. 

McKenna Gibson, left, hit three home runs in Saugus softball’s 9-2 win over Casteel in the Tournament of Champions. Gracie Keene, right, started the same game off with a home run. Photo courtesy Saugus softball

Shipman leads Alabama in hits and currently boasts a .314 batting average.  

Gibson has also had a stellar season at the plate and enters the College World series batting .369 with 15 home runs. 

Shipman takes on the former Saugus duo on Thursday at 9 a.m. PST when the Crimson Tide takes on the Lady Volunteers. 

From Hart, Aly Kaneshiro of No. 9 Stanford could meet the winner of that series, should the Cardinal get out of the first round against No. 1 Oklahoma.  

Kaneshiro was a force in Stanford’s sweep of Duke, as she added one hit in each win. The former Hart catcher leads Stanford with seven home runs and will begin the World Series on a four-game hit streak. 

Hart’s Aly Kaneshiro (4) watches her base hit fly during a CIF-Southern Section playoff softball game against Paraclete at Hart on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Kaneshiro and Stanford take the field against Oklahoma on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. 

Jordyn Gasper, also a Hart alumna, leads No. 15 Utah into battle with No. 7 Washington.  

Gasper has come through in any role needed for the Utes and is a perfect 15-for-15 when stealing bases in the past two seasons. 

Both Utah and Alabama reached the pinnacle tournament after dropping game one of their respective Super Regional matchups. The Crimson Tide overcame an 0-1 series deficit to the Northwestern Wildcats while the Utes achieved the same against San Diego. 

Utah will look to avenge two PAC-12 losses to the Huskies when the Utes face Washington on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. 

All five SCV alumnae will make their World Series debuts on Thursday and get to play on the biggest stage in college softball.  

Alabama will be fighting for its first title since 2012 while Tennessee, Utah and Stanford will each battle for their program’s first national championship. 

All games will be streamed on ESPN. 

Valencia’s Ally Shipman was recently named a MaxPreps Preseason All-American. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

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