Alabama softball fell behind early in the series rubber match against LSU on Sunday and a five-run sixth inning by the Tigers gave them enough cushion to secure the win, 8-1, and take the series.

Alabama (22-4) faced an early three-run deficit to LSU (23-3) before the Tide scored its first run of the game, an RBI double by Marisa Runyon in the third inning. The score remained 3-1 until the Tigers broke out with a big five-run sixth inning to take the 8-1 lead, which ultimately proved final. Alabama was limited the just four hits in the loss, coming from Runyon, Leona Lafaele, Sydney Booker and Andrea Hawkins.

Alexis Osorio (7-2) struggled with control early but settled in during the middle innings before the five-run sixth inning ended her outing. In the loss, she allowed eight runs, seven earned, on 10 hits with a season-high four walks. LSU starter Carley Hoover (10-0) went the distance in the win, striking out eight with just one run allowed. Offensively, the Tigers were led by Bianka Bell who went 2-3 including a solo homer in the sixth inning.

A base hit and two walks loaded the bases for LSU in the bottom of the first. A diving stop in the hole limited a base hit to an infield single, scoring one, but an errant throw on a force out attempt at third on the play went out of play as everyone moved up 60 feet on the error to add another run with LSU now leading 2-0.

With runners at the corners and two out in the bottom of the second, Haylie McCleney made a diving attempt in shallow center but the ball dropped in for an RBI single, scoring one to stretch the Tigers’ lead to 3-0. With McCleney at second base in the top of the third, Runyon drove her in with an RBI double to the wall in left center to make it a 3-1 game.

The lead would remain the same until the bottom of the sixth. LSU led off the inning with a walk and bunt single and both runners moved into scoring position on a passed ball. A line drive to left field by Constance Quinn allowed the runner at third to tag up and score on the sacrifice fly, making it 4-1. With a runner at third and one out, a strikeout in the dirt forced a throw down to first to secure the out and the runner at third broke for home on the throw, scoring just ahead of the tag attempt to give LSU a 5-1 lead.

A solo homer by Bell in the next at-bat stretched the lead to 6-1 and, following a base hit, Kellsi Kloss launched another homer to make it an 8-1 game. That ended Osorio’s outing in the circle as Sydney Littlejohn entered and struck out the final batter to end inning. Alabama was retired in order in the top of the seventh as LSU held on for the decisive victory.