Recap: Alabama Softball Tops the Mississippi State Bulldogs

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Alabama softball team got their postseason started off right with an opening round win in the SEC Tournament against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

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Only a short hour and a half across the state line, Alabama softball faced off with the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville Wednesday evening. It was a game of redemption for the Tide, following the loss to Georgia on Sunday that took them out of a guaranteed bye.

Alexis Osorio started and finished in the circle for Alabama, capturing a win and improving the Tide’s record to 46-11 on the season.

The Bulldogs needed the win to advance to the quarterfinals, where they could have a shot at getting into the NCAA tournament, but Alabama was not so gracious. From 2012 to the present, the Crimson Tide has won its first games in the SEC Tournament, and the team was not looking to give that record up.

What appeared to be a game falling in the favor of the Bulldogs, considering their home field advantage, was easily reversed in the bottom of the first inning. Mississippi State was up 2-0, but Leona Lafaele quickly responded with a homerun to right field. Alabama scored five runs, and never lost the lead for the remaining six and a half innings.

State responded in the top of the third inning, scoring two runs. With the Bulldogs biting on Alabama’s heels, it was necessary for the Tide to capitalize with a response itself. And that is certainly what the offense did. Sydney Booker, who reached the bases on a fielding error, managed to make it to home to advance the score 6-4 in the bottom of the third.

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With a silent fourth inning from both sides of the dugouts, the Bulldogs managed to find their last score in the top of the fifth inning. A throwing error by Alabama’s Chandler Dare allowed a steal at home. However, the bottom of the inning showed a nice setup for Alabama’s Andrea Hawkins, which was also the last time the Tide would bring a run in. The inning closed at 7-5 Alabama.

The top of the seventh inning proved the Bulldogs were not going down without a fight. With a runner at first and third and only two outs, Osorio was pitches away from ending the game. At an all-time record of 153 pitches, she struck out the final batter with an emotional win for the Tide.

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Alabama will advance to the quarterfinals Thursday, meeting its instate rival, the Auburn Tigers. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Central Time on SEC Network.