Alabama Softball Eliminated in SEC Tourney by Auburn

The Alabama softball team was eliminated in the SEC Tournament by in-state rival, the Auburn Tigers, with a 6-4 loss on Friday.

ICYMI: Crimson Tide Report—Dismissals, Dunbar and More

The Auburn Tigers unfortunately pounced on the Alabama softball team to take an early 4-0 lead after just one inning. After Tide pitcher Sydney Littlejohn loaded the bases, Carlee Wallace plated the Tigers first two runs of the frame with a double to left center. Jade Rhodes added one more with a ground out and a dropped pop fly from Chandler Dare in shallow right gave the Tigers their last run in the inning.

The Tide got one run back in the top half of the second inning. Sydney Booker got on board with a two-out walk and used her wheels to motor around the base paths from first when Andrea Hawkins drove an RBI double into right centerfield.

The Tigers extended their lead during their next at bat when a bloop single fell just out of the reach of Alabama’s diving Haylie McCleney. McCleney and Dare did their part in the visiting half of the third to get that run back. Doubles from the Tide pair allowed McCleney to score and cut the Tigers’ lead to a 5-2 score.

Auburn took a four-run lead in the third with an RBI single from Emily Carosone, forcing Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy to call on freshman Madi Moore (3.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) out of the bullpen to replace Littlejohn (2.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K). Moore walked the first batter she faced to load the bases, but a line drive straight into the glove of Leona Lafaele extinguished the fire.

The Tide placed two on board in the fourth and forced the Tigers to turn to their own freshman in Makayla Martin (3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) to come in for Rachael Walters (3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K). Just as most of the day had gone in favor of the Tigers, Martin got the Tigers out of the jam with just three pitches and two straight outs.

Alabama kept trying to chip away at the lead and inched closer to the Tigers in the fifth. McCleney crossed the plate for the second time of the day with the aid of a sacrifice fly from Lafaele.

The sixth inning saw the Tide’s final run of the game with a sacrifice fly from Peyton Grantham.

Alabama will await their postseason assignment for the NCAA Tournament. The Tide should be in the driver’s seat to host an NCAA Regional.