Alabama softball opened Southeastern Conference play Friday against Auburn, holding the Tigers to just one hit in the 2-0 shutout.

Alabama (19-5, 1-0 SEC) was led by yet another stellar performance in the circle from senior Alexis Osorio (6-3), holding Auburn (25-6, 0-4 SEC) to just one hit and striking out six in the complete-game shutout. A first-inning RBI single from sophomore Gabby Callaway and a sixth-inning solo home run from junior Caroline Hardy accounted for all the offense the Tide would need. Hardy’s home run was part of a 2-for-3 day and freshman Kaylee Tow also notched a 2-for-3 day from the leadoff spot.

Tow came out first-pitch swinging to lead off the top of the first, sending a single back up the middle. After a walk to sophomore Bailey Hemphill, Callaway battled to a full count before pulling a single through the right side to drive in Tow and give Alabama the early 1-0 lead. Junior Reagan Dykes laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position but back-to-back strikeouts ended the half-inning with the Tide on top by one.

Auburn threatened immediately in the bottom of the first, loading the bases on two walks and a fielding error with nobody out. After a quick meeting in the circle, Osorio bounced back with three-straight strikeouts to get out of the bases-loaded jam and hold the 1-0 lead.

Alabama stranded two on base in both the third and fourth innings, unable to add to its one-run lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Tannon snow led off the inning with a single to left field for Auburn’s first hit of the game. A fielding error put two on base and a sacrifice bunt moved the pair into scoring position with one out. Osorio fielded a comebacker for out number two, holding the runner at third, and Dykes made a running catch in foul territory to end the inning, slamming into the backstop but holding on to the ball.

With one out in the top of the sixth, Hardy blasted a solo home run to right-center field, doubling the Tide’s lead to 2-0. Later with two outs, senior Demi Turner battled through a 12-pitch at-bat to draw a walk but a groundout ended the half-inning. In the bottom of the inning, Auburn would draw three walks to load the bases with one out but a strikeout and groundout would get the Tide out of a bases-loaded jam for the second time in the game, ending the sixth inning with the score 2-0.

Tow led off the top of the seventh reaching on a fielding error but a double play quickly put two outs on the board. Junior Merris Schroder, who had entered as a defensive replacement, ripped a two-out single through the right side but a groundout ended the half-inning with the Tide unable to add to its 2-0 lead. With the top of its batting order due up in the bottom of the seventh, Auburn went down in order as Alabama held on to earn the one-hit shutout.

Game two of the weekend series is set for a 7 p.m. CT start Saturday, March 17 on ESPNU.

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