Alabama Softball Recap: Heartbreak on Rocky Top
Presented with a golden opportunity to move into third in the SEC, Alabama dropped two games in dramatic fashion to the Tennessee Volunteers.
Tennessee won Saturday’s series opener 3-2 thanks to a Chelsea Seggern RBI single to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Vols struck again in the bottom of the seventh innings as first baseman Brooke Vines launched a walk-off homer to center field for the 2-0 victory.
In Saturday and Sunday’s narrow losses to Tennessee, Alabama failed to deliver on multiple run scoring opportunities.
The Crimson Tide left 11 runners on base with nine runners left in scoring position over the course of the weekend.
Two opportunities stand out from the two losses. In the top of the third inning Saturday night, Sydney Booker reached base on a fielding error to lead off the inning followed by a Claire Jenkins single to left field. After a Mari Cranek sacrifice that moved Booker and Jenkins into scoring position, Chandler Dare popped up to second base on the first pitch of her at bat followed by a Meris Schroder strikeout.
In the top of the fifth inning Sunday night, Sydney Booker and Claire Jenkins were retired to begin the inning. Elissa Brown reached on an infield single to begin the rally. After Brown stole second base, Cranek and Dare walked to load the bases. Bailey Hemphill almost delivered the biggest hit of the season but smoked a line drive right at Tennessee third baseman Chelsea Seggern to end the threat.
Monday’s cancellation robbed the Crimson Tide of another possibility to earn a much needed SEC win. Alabama held a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning before steady rain forced the cancellation of the series finale.
Run Scoring Woes in SEC Play Continue
After the series loss to Tennessee, Alabama goes into their final two SEC series with a 10-7 conference record.
In their seven SEC losses, the Crimson Tide has been shut out five times and managed a total of five runs. Three of the five shutout losses have occurred during some of Sydney Littlejohn’s most effective starts of the season.
All three of her losses have come in SEC play, but she has managed to keep Alabama in striking distance to win games. The senior right hander has allowed four runs over 19 innings pitched in her three losses.
The Tide hosts their final non-conference mid-week game of the regular season Wednesday night against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
Southern Miss (24-22, 7-11 C-USA) comes into the game winners of four of their last five games including a series win at home over Texas San-Antonio.
The Golden Eagles have shown the capability of beating quality teams on the road with a doubleheader sweep at Louisiana-Lafayette during the first weekend of the season and a three-game sweep at Jacksonville State during the last weekend of February.
First pitch Wednesday from Rhoads Stadium is at 6 PM.
College Softball around Alabama
Auburn took two of three games this weekend at home against Missouri. After dropping Friday’s series opener 6-1, Auburn defeated Missouri 5-4 on Saturday and 6-1 on Sunday. After trailing 3-0 Saturday, Carlee Wallace sparked Auburn’s comeback with a three-run triple in the bottom of the fourth inning to put her team up for good. In Sunday’s rubber match, Kendall Veach was 1-3 with 3 RBIs while Alyssa Rivera was 1-2 with 2 RBIs. Auburn returns to action Wednesday evening against Kennesaw State.
Troy salvaged one of three games against Louisiana-Monroe with a 12-2 win on Sunday. Becca Hartley and Jordan Gray each hit grand slams in the win. The Trojans hosted Florida State Tuesday and fell to the Seminoles 9-3.
South Alabama lost two of three games at UT-Arlington but snapped their five-game losing streak with a 5-0 win in Sunday’s series finale. Senior Destin Vicknair pitched a complete game shutout and allowed just one hit in the victory.
Jacksonville State increased their winning streak to 13 games with a doubleheader sweep of Austin Peay Friday. Whitney Gillespie homered and drove in four runs in JSU’s 7-0 win in game one of the twin bill.
After securing a series win against North Texas, UAB held off a late Samford rally to defeat the Bulldogs in eight innings 4-3 from Mary Bowers Field. Madison Millsaps drove home the winning run with a single to left field off Samford starter Jessica Stone. The Blazers conclude the home stand with a Thursday evening game against Washington.