Bama Softball Wins SEC Tourney Opener

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Alabama softball team got it done when it counted on Thursday evening as the third-ranked Crimson Tide got a walk-off single from Brittany Rogers in the seventh inning to beat Mississippi State 1-0 in the opening round of the SEC Tournament at Tiger Park.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Alabama Coach Patrick Murphy said. "Their (MSU) defense was just awesome. It came down catching a break (on the error) on our part. Usually with a well pitched game that is how it falls. Then we got those two hits in the seventh to win it."

Mississippi State hurler Misty Flesher held the high-powered Alabama offense without a hit through the first six innings. But Dani Woods broke up the no-hitter to lead off the seventh inning with a sharp single up the middle.

After a failed bunt attempt, Lauren Parker made her first appearance at the plate since April 12 at Auburn. Parker put the ball in play back to the pitcher, who threw wide of first base to put runners on first and third base with one out.

MSU intentionally walked Whitney Larsen to load the bases for Rogers, who had been called out at first base on two extremely close plays earlier in the game. Rogers left no doubt this time as she laced a 2-1 pitch from Flesher back up the middle for the game winner.

Kelsi Dunne earned the complete-game shutout win in the circle for the Tide to improve to 22-3 on the season. The SEC Freshman of the Year struck out nine while allowing just four hits.

Flesher took the loss to fall to 19-9 on the year. She went 6.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits with four walks and a strikeout.

State's best scoring chance came in the top of the fifth inning when Nakita Boyce lined a leadoff triple into the right-center field gap. Dunne worked around the triple by getting a strikeout, a pop up and a line drive right to Woods in left field to keep MSU off the board.

The win improved Alabama's record to 50-5 on the year while Mississippi State falls to 40-20. The Crimson Tide will play the winner of the LSU-Auburn game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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