Alabama Softball Skid Continues

There was some drama at Rhoads Stadium Sunday as the Alabama softball team closed out its series with Kentucky by losing its fifth game in the last six starts. When Kentucky pitcher Kelsey Nunley made her 188th pitch of the game, it looked like it might have been one pitch too many.

Alabama had battled back to send the game to extra innings, but then gave up four runs to Kentucky in the top of the eighth. Bama loaded the bases in its half of the eighth and Kaila Hunt sent that 188th pitch soaring. The blast, however, was just a little short, caught at the wall to preserve a 9-5 win for the Wildcats.

In the past two weekends the defending national champion Alabama softball team has fallen to the eighth seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament and will open the tournament at Lexington at 4 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. central time) Wednesday against No. 9 seed Texas A&M. Bama is the defending champion in the tournament, but has only a 13-11 SEC record going in. Bama is 41-12 overall.

Alabama trailed 5-0 with six outs to play Sunday after the Tide and Wildcats had split a Saturday doubleheader. Bama rallied in the rubber game with four runs in the sixth inning and another in the seventh to extend the game.

Bama reliever Leslie Jury walked one player, hit another, and then gave up a three-run homer. A fourth run by the Wildcats got it to 9-5.

With the win, Kentucky improved to 38-17 overall and equal to Bama at 13-11 in the conference. By virtue of its series win over Alabama, the Wildcats will be the seventh seed in the SEC Tournament played at their home field. Ryan Iamurri was tops for Bama on offense with a 3-5 day. Kayla Braud and Hunt had two hits each. Jury (15-6) was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs on five hits in three innings of relief. Jackie Traina allowed three runs – two earned – on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. Nunley improved to 24-7 win the win. The freshman was 2-0 against Bama this weekend.

Alabama's skid comes just as tournament time begins.

The SEC Tournament Bracket:

Wednesday, May 8

Game 1: #8 Alabama vs. #9 Texas A&M (ESPNU), 4 p.m. ET

Game 2: #7 Kentucky vs. #10 South Carolina (ESPNU), 6:30 p.m. ET

Thursday, May 9

Game 3: #1 Florida vs. Winner of game 1 (#8 vs. #9) (ESPNU) 11 a.m. ET

Game 4: #4 LSU vs. #5 Georgia (ESPNU) 1:30 p.m. ET

Game 5: #2 Tennessee vs. Winner of game 2 (#7 vs. #10) (ESPNU) 4 p.m. ET

Game 6: #3 Missouri vs. #6 Arkansas (ESPNU) 6:30 p.m. ET

Friday, May 10

Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (ESPNU) 3 p.m. ET

Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (ESPNU) 5:30 p.m. ET

Saturday, May 11

Championship Game (ESPN) 8 p.m. ET

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