Larsen Homer Gets Tide Past Vols

Everyone who follows Southeastern Conference softball was looking forward to the championship game between Alabama, regular season SEC champion and the nation's third-ranked team, and Florida, the team that took two of three games from the Tide in regular season play and was second in the league and is ranked fifth in the nation. Alabama did its part. Not so the Gators.

On the second day of the SEC Championship Tournament in Fayetteville, Ark., Friday, Alabama junior Whitney Larsen belted a seventh inning line drive walk-off homer to send the Crimson Tide to the championship game. The home run handed Alabama a 4-3 victory over Tennessee. It was Alabama's 22nd consecutive victory. It was the second consecutive year for Larsen to hit a walk-off home run to send Alabama to the championship game. Moreover, on Thursday night/Friday morning, in the first round of SEC action, she clubbed a grand slam walk-off home run to give Bama a victory over host Arkansas.

Prior to Alabama's Friday afternoon win over Tennessee, in the other semifinal, 17th ranked LSU pounded Florida, 9-1. It was LSU's first win over Florida in 10 meetings.

Now Alabama and LSU will meet in the championship game at 6:30 p.m. CDT Saturday. ESPN will televise the title game.

Part of Alabama's magnificent winning streak included a recent sweep of LSU.

Alabama improved its record to 47-9 with its win over Tennessee Friday.

After Tennessee opened the scoring in the top of the second on a RBI double down the left field line off the bat of Lauren Gibson, Alabama quickly responded in the bottom half.

Back-to-back doubles evened the score for the Tide. Sophomore Kendall Dawson lined a double off the wall in right-center and then fellow sophomore Jennifer Fenton followed suit with a double of her own in the left-center gap to plate her backstop Dawson.

Alabama added another an inning later when sophomore Amanda Locke singled to left-center to bring home junior Whitney Larsen, who started the rally with a double to the gap in left-center.

The Tide continued to chip away by plating a run in its third consecutive inning. Senior Charlotte Morgan ripped it off the glove of the shortstop in the hole to enable Fenton to score from second and extend the Alabama lead to 3-1.

The Lady Vols were able to even the score at three in the top of the fifth when a two out grounder was thrown wide of the bag by freshman Kayla Braud to allow Nicole Kajitani and Whitney Hammond cross the plate.

Cat Hosfield was tagged with the loss (15-8) after allowing two runs on four hits in four innings of relief.

Kelsi Dunne earned the win for Alabama, only allowing one earned run while striking out 13. Dunne is now 26-4 on the season and has now earned the win in 13 straight starts.

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