Sydney Booker

Alabama softball struggled in late innings in 3-2 loss to Tennessee

Sydney Booker had two-run triple to account for Alabama offense in loss to Tennessee

Alabama took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning in Knoxville Saturday, but Tennessee was able to load the bases in the sixth and tie the game and load them again in the seventh and win it with a two-out single, the Vols winning 3-2.

The Vols led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk and a single to put two on base and Brooke Vines followed with a single up the middle to score one and put runners at the corners with Alabama’s lead cut in half, 2-1. Another walk would load the bases. After a strikeout, a slow ground ball resulted in a failed force-out attempt at home, tying the game at 2-2. A pair of strikeouts would end the inning and strand the bases loaded with the teams knotted up heading to the seventh.

Alabama went down in order in the top of the seventh, unable to break the 2-2 tie, and Tennessee started the bottom-half of the inning with a double by Aubrey Leach. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases and Alabama made a pitching change. Alexis Osorio had started the game.  Sophomore Madi Moore came on to pitch in the tough spot. A force-out at home got the lead runner for out number one and Alabama then turned to Sydney Littlejohn in the circle. A popup to Sydney Booker went for out number two.

The left-handed Moore re-entered to pitch  to left-handed hitting Chelsea Seggern, but the strategy failed. Seggern got a line drive just past the glove of a diving before a line drive by Chelsea Seggern got just past the glove of a diving Claire Jenkins through the right side for the walk-off single, winning 3-2.

Alabama fell to 36-8, including a 10-6 Southeastern Conference record. Tennessee improved to 38-5, including 10-3 in the conference. The Vols have a 17-game winning streak and ended a three-game losing streak to Bama.

Osorio (18-5) threw 146 pitches over six innings, taking the loss with three earned runs allowed on five hits while Caylan Arnold (17-4) went the distance in the complete-game win for Tennessee.

Alabama had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on a two-run triple by Sydney Booker. After a walk to Reagan Dyles and a single by Bailey Hemphill with two outs, Booker lifted a fly ball deep to left field for a two-RBI triple.

Game two of the series is set for 7 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. central time) Sunday with SEC Network televising

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