Alabama softball held a two-run lead for the majority of regulation before Washington rallied to tie it in the seventh and eventually win in walk-off fashion in the ninth, handing the Crimson Tide the extra-inning 3-2 loss in game one of the Super Regional series.

Alabama (36-19) took the first lead on a two-run double from senior Sydney Booker in the second inning. The Washington (48-8) bats were relatively silent until the bottom of the seventh when the Huskies put two in scoring position to set up Sis Bates for the game-tying single up the middle. Taylor Van Zee provided the walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth, an RBI single to give Washington the hard-fought 3-2 win. Alexis Osorio (15-10) went the distance in the losing effort, striking out 10 batters over 8.0 innings pitched.

Van Zee tallied the first hit of the game for either team, a leadoff double in the first inning, but she was left stranded as Osorio retired the next three to keep it a scoreless game. Sophomore Bailey Hemphill drew a walk on a seven-pitch at bat to lead off the second inning and junior Reagan Dykes was hit by a pitch to put two on with nobody out for the Tide. Sophomore Gabby Callaway advanced the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and Alabama tried to score on a ground ball to second, but it was fielded and fired home quickly to get the runner for out number two. After junior Merris Schroder stole second, Booker pulled a two-strike pitch down the left-field line to score two on the double and give Alabama the 2-0 lead.

Washington had another scoring opportunity in the top of the third with two on and two out before Osorio’s sixth strikeout of the day ended the half-inning and preserved Alabama’s two-run lead. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, a single and walk put two on base for the Huskies. Osorio fielded a grounder and threw to third for the force out before Hemphill made a diving catch down the first base line for out number three, saving what would have likely been a double to end the inning and keep Alabama in front, 2-0.

The pitcher’s duel continued, with it remaining a 2-0 game heading to the bottom of the seventh inning. The Huskies’ leadoff batter drew a four-pitch walk and, two batters later, Van Zee knocked in her second double of the day to put two in scoring position with one out. Bates sent the first pitch of her at-bat back up the middle, tying the game at 2-2 as both runners came home to score. With two out, Kirstyn Thomas knocked a single into left field, pushing the potential game-winning run into scoring position. On a check swing, an appeal down to third called the batter out as Osorio’s 10th strikeout of the day ended the inning and sent the game to extra innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, Washington’s leadoff batter reached base safely on a fielding error and stole second in the next at-bat. Van Zee walked it off for the Huskies with an RBI single up the middle as the home team completed the comeback to win in extra innings, 3-2.

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