Auburn has scored runs in only two of the 16 innings the Tigers have played at Rhoads Stadium this weekend, but for the second consecutive day that was all Auburn needed to hand Alabama a three-run loss softball loss. Alabama had the potential game-tying run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh with nobody out, but the Crimson Tide couldn’t take advantage and fell 4-1.
Alabama (39-15, 11-11 SEC) and Auburn (45-8, 17-6 SEC) each had eight hits but the Tigers got a three-run double by Alyssa Rivera that capped a four-run fifth inning for Auburn. Alabama got one back in the sixth on an RBI single by Gabby Callaway and back-to-back singles to lead off the seventh brought the potential tying run to the plate. Auburn had inserted ace Kaylee Carlson, who had pitched Friday’s 3-0 nine-inning win over the Tide, and Carlosn retired three in a row to nail down the win.
The series finale is set for a Noon CDT start on Sunday with television coverage on ESPN2.
Sydney Booker scored the lone run of the day for the Tide, coming home after a sixth-inning triple. Callaway was 2-3 at the plate with an RBI in her sixth SEC start of the season. Demi Turner made her return to the field as a pinch-runner in the first inning, her first action since suffering an injury on April 1 at Missouri.
Sydney Littlejohn (14-7) took the loss, throwing 6 2/3 innings, while Makayla Martin (18-5) earned the win for Auburn. Carlson earned her fourth save.
Similar to Friday’s game, the early innings on Saturday proved to be a pitcher’s duel as the teams combined to tally just four hits over the first four innings with no runs scored. With one out in the top of the fifth, three-straight singles loaded the bases for Auburn. A strikeout went for out number two but a bases-loaded walk and a double in the gap pushed four runs across for the Tigers before a popup ended the half-inning with Auburn leading, 4-0.
Alabama looked to claw back in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases with two singles and a walk but a strikeout on a full count ended the inning. With two out in the bottom of the sixth, Booker laced a hard-hit ball down the right-field line, sliding into third for a triple, and came home on a hard-hit RBI single by Callaway to cut the deficit to 4-1.
After a leadoff single by Auburn in the top of the seventh, Madi Moore entered to pitch for Alabama before an error put two on base and Littlejohn re-entered the circle. Back-to-back strikeouts brought Auburn down to its final out of the half-inning and Moore came back in to end the inning with a strikeout as it remained a three-run game heading to the bottom of the seventh.
Claire Jenkins led off the bottom of the seventh with a bunt single and Auburn turned to game-one winner Carlson in the circle. Turning back to the top of the order, Elissa Brown beat out an infield single to put two on base with nobody out. A deep fly ball in the next at-bat allowed Jenkins to tag up and move to third but a popup and a force out ended the rally.