After a late home run to tie the game and send it to extra innings, Alabama rallied back with a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth to defeat Mississippi State, 3-2, in the series opener Friday at Rhoads Stadium.

Alabama (35-1, 6-1 SEC) trailed after Mississippi State (21-11, 1-6 SEC) scored a run in the top of the second, but a two-run single from sophomore Kaylee Tow in the fourth swung the lead in the Crimson Tide’s favor. The score remained 2-1 until the Bulldogs tied it with a solo home run in the top of the seventh and Alabama could not score in the bottom half, sending the game to extra innings. After a 1-2-3 top of the eighth, the Tide loaded the bases in the bottom half and Tow battled to a full count, eventually taking ball four for the walk-off walk to win, 3-2.

Tow drove in all three runs from the leadoff spot, going 1-for-2 with three walks to extend her reached-base streak to 17 games. Senior Merris Schroder went 2-for-4, scoring the game-winning run in her seventh multi-hit performance of the season. In the circle, junior Sarah Cornell (14-0) pitched a season-high 8.0 innings to earn the win, allowing two runs, one earned, on eight hits with no walks.

Mississippi State took the first lead of the game in the top of the second, as a single, stolen base and throwing error advanced the runner to third and an RBI single from Montana Davidson brought her home. The Bulldogs went on to load the bases with two out, but an infield popup kept them stranded and limited the damage to one run.

The first two runners reached safely for Alabama in the bottom of the second and a sacrifice bunt moved them both into scoring position, now with one out. A pair of popups stranded them on base however, as it remained a 1-0 game. For the third-straight inning, the Tide got the leadoff batter on base in the bottom of the fourth. Two batters later, freshman Skylar Wallace reached on a bunt single and an errant throw allowed senior Reagan Dykes to advance to third. Wallace stole second base and, two batters later, Tow came through with a two-run single to center to give Alabama the 2-1 lead.

With the Tide still holding a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh, Mia Davidson tied the game with a one-out solo home run. The Bulldogs stranded the potential go-ahead run in scoring position, with it knotted up at 2-2 in the home half of the inning. Alabama got the leadoff batter on base, courtesy of a walk to Tow, but could not score as the game went to extra innings.

After retiring Mississippi State in order in the top of the eighth, Alabama got its first two batters on base in the bottom half before a sac bunt moved the pair into scoring position. A walk loaded the bases with one out and, following a strikeout, Tow worked the count full and drew ball four for a bases-loaded walk to end the game.

The weekend series continues Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m. CT.

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