Late Rally Costs Alabama Softball in 3-2 Loss to Tennessee Saturday
Alabama softball scored first against Tennessee Saturday in Knoxville, but a 2-0 lead was erased with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh would ultimately give the Volunteers the 3-2 comeback victory.
Alabama (36-8, 10- 6 SEC) plated its only runs in the top of the fourth on a two-run triple by Sydney Booker, but a pair of strong offensive innings by Tennessee (38-5, 10-3 SEC) in the sixth and seventh would give the Volunteers its 17th-straight win and break a three-game winning streak by the Tide over Tennessee. Alexis Osorio (18-5) threw 146 pitches over 6.0 innings, taking the loss with three earned runs allowed on five hits while Caylan Arnold (17-4) went the distance in the complete-game win for Tennessee.
In the top of the third, an error and bloop single put two runners on for Alabama and Mari Cranek laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the pair into scoring position as it turned back to the top of the order with one out. A popup and strikeout would end the half-inning as the Tide could not scratch a run across in the half-inning. Alabama had two on base again in the top of the fourth after a walk to Reagan Dykes and base hit by Bailey Hemphill with two outs. Booker then lifted a fly ball deep into left field and the Tennessee outfielder couldn’t track it down as it fell at the warning track for a triple, scoring two to put Alabama up 2-0.
Tennessee would strand two in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth and a great throw from Dykes to Claire Jenkins at second would end the bottom of the fifth on the caught stealing. Alabama had two on base in the top of the sixth but a strikeout would prevent the Tide from adding to its two-run lead.
The Vols led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk and a single to put two on base and Brooke Vines followed with a single up the middle to score one and put runners at the corners with Alabama’s lead now cut in half, 2-1. Another walk would load the bases and, after a strikeout, a failed force-out attempt at home would tie the game up at 2-2. A pair of strikeouts would end the inning and strand the bases loaded with the teams knotted up heading to the seventh.
Alabama went down in order in the top of the seventh, unable to break the 2-2 tie, and Tennessee started the bottom-half of the inning with a double by Aubrey Leach. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases and Alabama made a pitching change, turning the Madi Moore in the tough spot. A force-out at home got the lead runner for out number one and Alabama then turned to Sydney Littlejohn in the circle. A popup to Sydney Booker went for out number two and Moore re-entered to pitch before a line drive by Chelsea Seggern got just past the glove of a diving Jenkins through the right side for the walk-off single, winning 3-2.
Game two of the series is set for a 6 p.m. CT start on Sunday, April 16 in Knoxville. The game will air live on SEC Network.