COLUMBIA, Mo. – Alabama softball jumped ahead to an early lead over Florida on Thursday night in the SEC Tournament quarterfinal round, but the Gators rallied back to tie it in the fourth and take the lead in the fifth to hand the Crimson Tide a 5-2 loss.
Alabama (33-17) scored a pair of runs in the first inning and Florida (47-8) came back to tie it in the fourth with a two-run home run. With the score still tied in the bottom of the sixth, another home run for the Gators gave them a 5-2 lead.
The Tide tallied four hits, driving in its two runs on an RBI groundout from freshman Kaylee Tow and a sacrifice fly from sophomore Gabby Callaway. Alabama starter Courtney Gettins threw 4 innings in the start but did not factor into the decision, with senior Alexis Osorio (13-9) taking the loss in relief.
Sophomore Elissa Brown started the game with a leadoff single back up the middle and and senior Demi Turner drew a walk. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position and Tow pulled a slow grounder to second base for an out Brown scored to give Alabama the 1-0 lead. After a walk to Bailey Hemphill put runners at the corners, Callaway lifted a fly ball to center field to score Turner from third and make it 2-0.
After a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fourth, Aleshia Ocasio blasted a two-run home run to right field to tie the game at 2-2. Gettins and the Tide defense bounced back after the home run with three-straight outs to keep it a tie game heading to the fifth inning.
After a fielding error to start the bottom of the fifth, Osorio entered to pitch in relief for Alabama and got out of the inning without allowing a run. Alabama stranded a runner in scoring position in the top of the sixth and, with two on and two out in the bottom half, Amanda Lorenz hit a three-run home run to give Florida a 5-2 lead and tha would ultimately prove final.