Alabama Softball Battles Through Inclement Weather, Late Rally to Defeat Arkansas, 6-5
Alabama softball battled through inclement weather and a seventh-inning rally from Arkansas Friday night to edge out the Razorbacks, 6-5, in the series opener.
Alabama (26-11, 7-6 SEC) fell behind early after Arkansas (31-9, 6-7 SEC) scored in the first inning. A fielding error allowed the Crimson Tide to tie it up in the top of the third before an hour-long weather delay took the teams off the field. Upon resumption, Alabama went on to score two more runs in the inning to take a 3-1 lead. An RBI single from junior Caroline Hardy, part of a 2-for-4 day at the plate, extended it to 4-1 in the fifth inning and a two-run home run from sophomore Gabby Callaway made it 6-1 in the sixth. The Razorbacks would not go down quietly, rallying to score four runs with two out in the bottom of the seventh to cut the Tide’s lead to one before a groundout ended the game with Alabama on top, 6-5. Alexis Osorio (9-6) earned the win in the circle, going the distance in the hard-fought win.
Alabama left a runner stranded in the top of the first and Arkansas put its first two batters on base in the bottom half via a hit-by-pitch and single. After back-to-back strikeouts, a check-swing single from Kayla Green scored the runner from third to give the home team a 1-0 lead before a high popup in foul territory ended the inning.
With the score the same in the top of the fourth inning, a leadoff walk from senior Peyton Grantham and a one-out single from senior Sydney Booker put two on base for Alabama. A hard-hit grounder was then misplayed by the Razorback second baseman, allowing Grantham to score from second on the error and tie it at 1-1. A lightning delay followed that play as the game was halted for nearly an hour. Upon resumption, junior Reagan Dykes hit a chopper to the Arkansas shortstop and Booker slid under the tag attempt at home to score on the RBI fielder’s choice and give Alabama a 2-1 lead. A wild pitch moved the two runners into scoring position and an RBI groundout to the right side made it a 3-1 game with two out before another groundout ended the inning with the Tide leading by two.
With one out in the top of the fifth, sophomore Bailey Hemphill rocketed a stand-up double off the wall in left-center and Hardy brought her home two batters later with a line-drive RBI single to make it 4-1. With two out and a runner on in the top of the sixth, Callaway blasted a two-run home run to stretch the lead to 6-1.
With the score the same in the bottom of the seventh, Arkansas extended the game with a two-out RBI single and a three-run home run two batters later made it a one-run game. A groundout to third base ended the rally and the game as Alabama held on to win, 6-5.
Game two of the weekend series is set for an 11 a.m. CT start on Saturday, April 14 live on ESPNU.
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