By Stan J. Griffin
Special to The Tuscaloosa News
The No. 7 Tennessee softball team showed little mercy in finishing a clean sweep of No. 17 Alabama on Saturday.
In a critical Southeastern Conference doubleheader at Rhoads Stadium, the Vols edged the Crimson Tide 1-0 in the first game, and took a decisive 13-3 victory in the nightcap.
In the second game, Tennessee (40-8, 10-7 SEC ) tallied a run in the top of the first as Aubrey Leach led off with a walk and later scored on a fielder’s choice.
In the bottom half for the Crimson Tide (27-15, 7-10 in SEC play) shortstop Sydney Booker led off with a walk, stole second, and scored via a single by sophomore Gabby Callaway to tie things up.
The Crimson Tide took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second as Caroline Hardy led off with a double, with freshman KB Sides brought in to run for her. The freshman scored on an infield single by senior second baseman Demi Turner.
The Lady Vols tied the score off UA starter Madison Preston (6-5) in the top of the third as Jenna Holcomb singled to center and later scored on a single by Chelsea Seggern.
Tennessee took the lead once again in the fourth, scoring a run on a UA error and plating another on an RBI single by Leach. Meghan Gregg later added a two-run homer and the score was 6-2.
Alabama cut the lead to 6-3 in the bottom half on a solo homer by Carrigan Fain, her first of the season, but the Vols responded with a run in the fifth to make the score 7-3.
Tennessee plated three in the top of the sixth, with the big blow a two-run single by Amanda Ayala.
The Lady Vols completed the game’s scoring in the seventh on a three-run homer by Seggern.
In the first game, Tennessee broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning, as Leach walked and Gregg doubled her home.
That was the only run necessary for Lady Vol starter Matty Moss (17-3) as she out-dueled UA ace Alexis Osorio (10-7)
Moss allowed only one hit while walking one and striking out six.
Osorio allowed only two hits while walking four and striking out 14. Her strikeout of Jenna Holcomb in the seventh inning allowed her to reach the 1,000 mark in that category for her UA career.
Monday’s series finale between the Crimson Tide and Lady Vols is set for 6 p.m. and will be televised by SEC Network.