A fifth-inning grand slam from junior Clarie Jenkins made all the difference in Alabama softball’s 4-3 win Wednesday night over Georgia Tech at Rhoads Stadium.

Alabama (34-1) fell behind, 2-0, after a pair of RBI doubles by Georgia Tech (22-13) in the third and fourth innings. The Crimson Tide started to gather some momentum in the bottom of the fifth, sparked by a leadoff single from junior Elissa Brown. A pair of walks eventually loaded the bases with one out, setting up Jenkins for the go-ahead grand slam. Alabama has now hit five grand slams over its last 11 games, already surpassing the season totals from each of the last three years.

The Yellow Jackets tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with two out before an infield single moved everyone up 60 feet to make it a one-run ballgame. Alabama used three different pitchers in the inning, but ultimately it was junior starter Sarah Cornell (13-0) who re-entered to secure the final out.

Georgia Tech took the first lead of the game in the top of the third, hitting back-to-back doubles with one out in the inning. Alabama threatened in the bottom half, putting a pair in scoring position with one out, but a popup and strikeout left them stranded and the Tide trailing, 1-0.

The Yellow Jackets doubled their lead with another RBI double in the top of the fourth and Alabama left another runner stranded in scoring position in the bottom of the inning. The Tide loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth and Jenkins came through in the big opportunity, blasting a grand slam to swing the lead in Alabama’s favor, 4-2.

The lead remained the same heading to the top of the seventh and Georgia Tech drew a leadoff walk to bring the potential tying run to the plate. After a first-pitch ball to the second batter, Alabama turned to its bullpen as junior Krystal Goodman entered in the save situation. Another walk put two on base and a third free pass loaded the bases later with one out and Alabama made another pitching change as senior Courtney Gettins entered in the tough spot. A foul popup to junior Bailey Hemphill behind the plate went for out number two but an infield single moved everyone up 60 feet to cut the lead to one, forcing yet another pitching change for the Tide as starter Cornell re-entered the game. Brown made a good read and caught a line drive to center, stranding the bases loaded and ending the game.

Next up, Alabama resumes SEC play with a three-game series against Mississippi State (21-10, 1-5 SEC) at Rhoads Stadium, beginning Friday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m. CT.

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