TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A three-run third inning proved enough for Alabama softball to win Sunday’s series finale against Auburn, defeating the Tigers 3-2 in front of a third-consecutive sellout crowd at Rhoads Stadium.
Over 4,000 fans packed the stands on a sunny Sunday afternoon as Alabama (40-15, 12-11 SEC) used a three-run third inning to overcome an early Auburn (45-9, 17-7 SEC) run in the top-half of the same inning. Gabby Callaway posted her second straight multi-hit game, going 2-3 batting third and scoring the Tide’s first run of the day on an RBI single in the third before Marisa Runyon followed that with a two-run double. Both of Auburn’s runs came on solo home runs by Haley Fagan, but the rest of the lineup was shut down by Alexis Osorio (20-7), who allowed just one hit to the other eight hitters in the lineup along with 14 strikeouts. Sydney Littlejohn entered with two out in the seventh to secure the final out of the game, earning her second save of the season.
Auburn quickly threatened in the top of the first, leading off the inning with two walks and a single to load the bases. Osorio bounced back with three-straight strikeouts to strand the bases loaded and keep the Tigers out of the run column. Auburn loaded the bases again in the next inning with two out and Osorio again left them stranded with a strikeout to keep it scoreless.
With two out in the top of the third, Fagan gave Auburn the first lead of the game with a solo home run. Back-to-back singles put two on base for Alabama in the bottom-half of the inning with one out and Callaway battled through a seven pitch at-bat before poking a single into left field, scoring Claire Jenkins from second to tie it up at 1-1. Runyon dropped a double into the left-field gap in the next at-bat, driving in two more to give Alabama a 3-1 lead.
Fagan drew the Tigers within one on her second home run of the day, another solo shot in the top of the fifth that bounced off the top of the right-field wall to make it 3-2. Alabama left a runner on base in both the fifth and sixth innings, unable to add to its one-run lead before Auburn came to bat in the top of the seventh. Osorio struck out the first two batters in the top of the seventh before Littlejohn entered to pitch with Fagan at the plate. On a full count, Littlejohn induced a groundout to Sydney Booker at short to end the game as Alabama won, 3-2.
Next up, Alabama begins postseason play at the 2017 SEC Tournament in Knoxville, Tenn. Games are set to start on Wednesday, May 10 with specific seeding and game times to be decided after the conclusion of Sunday’s games.