Auburn Takes Tide Out Of SEC Tourney

BATON ROUGE, La. – Alabama fell behind early to Auburn in Friday’s Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinal game and could not dig out of the early hole, eventually falling 7-1.

Alabama (42-12) allowed Auburn (48-9) to jump ahead early, scoring a combined five runs over the first three innings. The Tigers took advantage of plenty of late chances in inning, with five of their seven runs coming with two outs in the inning. Haylie McCleney drove in the lone run on the day for Alabama on a third inning RBI single as part of a 2-3 day at the plate.

Tide starter Leslie Jury (10-4) took the loss, lasting just two innings with five earned runs credited to her while Sydney Littlejohn threw four relief innings.

Eight of Auburn’s starting nine would earn at least one hit in the game, with the two, three and four-hole hitters each earning multi-hit games. Starter Marcy Harper (11-4) threw a complete game victory, holding Alabama to just four hits.

Auburn took the first lead of the game in the bottom of the first courtesy of a pair of bases-loaded walks, but a strikeout limited the damage to strand the bases loaded with Alabama trailing, 2-0. The Tigers doubled its lead in the bottom of the second with a two-run double by Branndi Melero to make it 4-0.

McCleney put the Tide on the board in the top of the third, dropping an RBI single into the right field gap but Auburn quickly regained its four-run lead in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI double by Haley Fagan. That ended Jury’s outing in the circle as Sydney Littlejohn entered in relief with a runner on second and nobody out, trailing 5-1.

Auburn added another run to its lead in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Jenna Abbott and made it a six-run game with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, as the Tide headed to the seventh inning trailing 7-1. Alabama couldn’t chip away at the deficit in the final inning as the Tide went down in order to end the game.

Alabama will now await its NCAA postseason fate, as the final field of 64 for the NCAA Tournament will be announced on Sunday, May 10 at 9 p.m. CT live on ESPNU. NCAA Regional action will begin the following weekend.


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