Alabama Drops Back-and-Forth Series Finale to Mississippi State in Extra Innings, 12-9
Despite a nine-run fourth inning that saw Alabama softball overcome an early deficit, some costly errors allowed Mississippi State to claw back to tie the game in regulation and defeat the Crimson Tide in extra innings, 12-9.
Alabama (36-2, 7-2 SEC) was in an early five-run hole to Mississippi State (22-12, 2-7 SEC) though two innings before scoring nine unearned runs in a big fourth inning to swing the score in the Crimson Tide’s favor, 9-5. The Bulldogs took three back in the fifth inning to make it a one-run game and then tied it at 9-9 in the top of the sixth. After three scoreless frames, a three-run home run in the top of the 10th gave Mississippi State a 12-9 lead and Alabama stranded the bases loaded in the bottom half to end the game.
Seven of the Tide’s nine starting batters earned a hit, led by a 3-for-5 performance from sophomore Maddie Morgan. Senior Reagan Dykes’ sixth home run of the season gave Alabama the lead in the bottom of the fourth, accounting for three of the team’s eight RBIs. Three pitchers split time in the circle for the Tide, with senior Courtney Gettins (5-1) ultimately tagged with the loss after 4.2 relief innings.
Mississippi State started the game with three-straight singles to quickly load the bases. A single plus a costly fielding error brought all three runners home and then a sacrifice fly two batters later made it a 4-0 lead for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State tacked on another with an RBI double in the top of the second and Alabama loaded the bases in the bottom half with one out but could not push a run across.
A fielding error and base hit to start the bottom of the fourth put two runners on for Alabama and another error on a dropped fly ball brought the runner in from second to make it 5-1. A groundout moved the two runners in to scoring position and sophomore Kaylee Tow brought them home with a single up the middle, cutting the deficit to two runs. Sophomore KB Sides laced a triple into the gap to make it a one-run game and, following a pitching change, junior Bailey Hemphill swung at the first pitch and sent it up the middle for a game-tying RBI single.
With two on and two out, Dykes came to the plate for a second time in the inning and smashed a home run to put the Tide ahead, 8-5. Later with two on base, junior Elissa Brown ripped a hard-hit infield single to scratch anther run across before the big inning ended on a strikeout with Alabama now ahead 9-5.
Some defensive miscues cost a trio of runs in the top of the fifth with the lead now trimmed to 9-8. Mississippi State continued to battle in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with one out and a single through the right side moved everyone up 60 feet and tied it at 9-9.
Neither team scored in the seventh, sending it to extra innings for the second time this weekend. The teams remained knotted up at 9-9 until Mississippi State hit a three-run home run in the top of the 10th. Alabama drew three consecutive walks to start the bottom of the tenth, forcing the Bulldogs to make a pitching change in the pressure situation. The Bulldogs got out of the jam, with a strikeout and pair of popups stranding the bases loaded to hand the Tide its second loss of the season.
Next up, Alabama closes out its five-game home stand Wednesday, April 3 against UAB at 6 p.m. CT.
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