"We came into the round with a chance to win, we didn't get that done, but UCLA is a very good team," Alabama Coach Mic Potter said. "I am very proud of this team. We had some adversity early. We started the round on No. 10, which is a very difficult hole, and we made some mistakes, but we bounced with an eagle and several birdies to get things going in the right direction. We could have thrown in the towel after that bad start, but we kept grinding, stayed patient and were rewarded for it."
The third-seeded Crimson Tide shot 12-over 300 in the final round for a 28-over 892, 17 shots back of regional champion UCLA. The Bruins shot 1-under 287 on Saturday for a 54-hole total of 11-over 875. Mississippi State finished third (893) and California fourth (894) while Ohio State and Kansas tied for fifth at 899.
The top-eight finishers at the NCAA Central Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships at Tulsa Country Club on May 20-23 in Tulsa, Okla., and join the teams that have advanced from the NCAA East and West Regionals.
Sophomore Emma Talley produced her best finish of the season with a top five showing at 2-under 214. Kent State's Wad Phaewchimplee captured medalist honors at 7-under 209. Talley, from Princeton, Ky., carded a 1-under 71 in the final round that included three birdies, two bogeys and 13 pars.
Senior Stephanie Meadow added a top 10 at 3-over 219 after shooting 76 on Saturday. Sophomore Janie Jackson turned in her best round of the week with a 2-over 74 that was highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 492-yard 14th hole.
Cammie Gray's 79 was the Crimson Tide's final counting score on Saturday, finishing at 17-over 234. Mia Landegren's 82 was dropped from Alabama's score in round three, and she finished at 19-over 235.
Alabama advances to the NCAA Championships for the 10th time in school history and the ninth time in nine seasons under the direction of Hall of Fame head coach Mic Potter. The Crimson Tide have posted top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships for the past four years, including capturing the NCAA title in 2012.