Alabama Athletics

Last-inning Alabama error opens door for Ole Miss to pull out softball win

Marisa Runyon had two-run homer in three-for-four game

Alabama pitcher Alexis Osorio survived an early rough patch and had struck out 13 Ole Miss batters. In the bottom of the seventh inning with a one-run lead and two outs, Osorio was within a strike of ending it. Instead, she gave up a base on balls.

Still, it looked like an Alabama win when Osorio enticed a ground ball to third base. The throw from Peyton Grantham, however, was off the mark, resulting in a three-base error, the runner from first tying the game and the batter advancing all the way to third.

A high chop infield single brought home the runner from third as Ole Miss rallied for a 5-4 win and took the series in Oxford, 2-1.

The game also included Alabama having a home run wiped off the slate when the umpire ruled the Tide hitter failed to touch home plate.
Alabama fell to 39-13, including an 11-9 Southeastern Conference mark. Ole Miss improved to 34-17 overall, 8-13 in SEC play.

And if Bama thought the Rebels were tough to beat, the challenge on the horizon is an Auburn team that has overcome alleged scandal in its coaching ranks and marijuana issues with its players and brings a powerful team to Tuscaloosa this weekend. Alabama concludes its regular season hosting the Tigers for three games beginning Friday.

In Oxford Monday, Alabama had bounced back from an early deficit to take the lead into the final inning.

The Tide trailed by three runs after two innings. Bama cut the lead to one in the top of the third on a Marisa Runyon home run and took a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth on a two-run single by Reagan Dykes.

Runyon’s home run was part of a 3-4 day at the plate for the Tide, tying a season high in hits for the senior. Elissa Brown went 2-3 in the plate and Dykes drove in two of the Tide’s four runs.

Alexis Osorio (19-7) was a tough-luck loser in an otherwise strong outing in the circle, fanning 13 batters in the complete-game, three-hit effort. Alabama out-hit the Rebels 9-3.

In the bottom of the second, three walks loaded the bases for Ole Miss with one out and Paige McKinney moved everyone up 60 feet with a single up the middle, giving the Rebels the first lead of the game. Courtney Syrett added two more with a long single that bounced off the wall in left field, making it 3-0 before a strikeout and popup ended the inning.

With one on and two out in the top of the third, Marisa Runyon sent a high home run down the right-field line to cut the deficit to one run. Bailey Hemphill seemingly tied it up in the next at-bat with a solo home run, but the home plate umpire deemed that she did not touch home plate on the play, as that ended the inning with Alabama trailing 3-2.

Neither team scored in the fourth but Alabama threatened in the top of the fifth, loading the bases on a hit-by-pitch, single and fielding error with one out in the half-inning. A lineout went for out number two before Reagan Dykes dropped a single into shallow left, scoring two unearned runs to give Alabama a 4-3 lead before the trailing runner was tagged out at third base to end the inning.

The score remained the same heading to the top of the seventh and Alabama couldn’t add to its lead in the top-half of the inning, giving the Rebels three outs to overcome a one-run deficit. A strikeout and popup quickly brought Ole Miss down to its final out but Courtney Syrett drew a two-out walk to turn it back to the top of the order. A grounder to third looked to be the final out but an errant throw allowed the tying runner to score all the way from first and tie the game at 4-4 and put the game-winning run at third base. A high chopper in the next at-bat went as an infield single, allowing the game-winning run to cross the plate and give Ole Miss the 5-4 comeback victory.

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