Alabama Softball Falls to Auburn Sunday in Series Finale, 2-1
Holding a 1-0 lead for the majority of Sunday’s game, Alabama softball dropped the series finale to Auburn in walk-off fashion as the Tigers came back to score two runs in the bottom of the seventh and defeat the Crimson Tide, 2-1.
Alabama (19-7, 1-2 SEC) scored its lone run of the day in the first inning on an RBI single from sophomore Bailey Hemphill. Auburn (27-6, 2-4 SEC) was held scoreless until a leadoff home run in the bottom of the seventh tied it at 1-1 and an RBI single from Casey McCrackin with two out in the inning would give the Tigers the comeback victory to win the series. Junior Courtney Gettins (7-2) took the hard-luck loss in the circle, posting a gutsy performance in the circle after senior starter Alexis Osorio had to exit in the first inning due to injury.
Sophomore Elissa Brown led off the game with a first-pitch bunt single and immediately stole second on the first pitch of the next at-bat. Later with one out, Hemphill would drop a single into shallow right field, advancing to second on the throw as Brown hustled around to score and give the Tide an early 1-0 lead.
After a groundout to lead off the bottom of the first, Osorio was struck in the face by the ball, eventually exiting the game under her own power as Gettins entered the game in relief with a runner on first and one out. A pair of fly balls to freshman Kaylee Tow ended the inning, including a running catch against the wall for the final out, to keep it a 1-0 game.
A walk, sacrifice bunt and throwing error put runners at the corners for Auburn in the bottom of the second with one out. On a double steal attempt, senior Demi Turner cut off the throw down to second and fired to third as senior Peyton Grantham caught the runner off the bag with a swipe tag for out number two. A strikeout looking from Gettins ended the inning with Alabama still in front by one.
The score remained the same heading to the seventh inning as the Tide could not add to its 1-0 lead and Auburn stranded a combined five runners on base from the third inning through the sixth. Looking to add some insurance, junior Caroline Hardy drew a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh and senior Rachel Bobo entered as a pinch runner. She advanced to second on a passed ball and two batters later she moved up to third on yet another passed ball with one out. A groundout and fly ball would keep her stranded 60 feet away as Alabama could not add to its 1-0 lead.
Leading off the bottom of the seventh, Auburn’s Alyssa Rivera tied the game at 1-1 with a solo home run. A walk turned it back to the top of the order and the leadoff hitter was called out of the box on a sacrifice bunt attempt for out number one as the runner held at first base. A force out at second went for out number two and the batter, who reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced to second on a wild pitch in the next at-bat. McCrackin ended it in the next at-bat with an RBI single through the left side to win in walk-off fashion, 2-1.
Next up, Alabama returns to Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, March 20 at 6 p.m. CT to host UAB before welcoming Ole Miss in for a three-game SEC series starting Friday, March 23.
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