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Alabama 2, Texas A&M 1 (10 innings)
by Robert O’Neill
For the second time in as many days, Alabama Crimson Tide freshman Bailey Hemphill hit a long home run.
Wednesday afternoon, Hemphill’s solo shot provided some insurance, extending ‘Bama’s lead to 4-1. Thursday’s homer was a tad more dramatic. As Alabama and Texas A&M entered their tenth inning of the day, Hemphill sent a moonshot to center field to give the Tide a 2-1 lead. Hemphill’s two home runs already ties an SEC Tournament record.
Alabama pitcher Alexis Osorio tied an SEC Tournament record with 15 strikeouts, and allowed just two hit in ten innings, flashing her dominance and showing why she was selected as an All-SEC Second Teamer this year.
Osorio took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Texas A&M’s Tori Vidales led off the inning with a game-tying home run.
The Crimson Tide advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2015. They’ll face the winner of Thursday afternoon’s Ole Miss/Florida game.
Ole Miss 2, Florida 0
by Christopher Novak
Knoxville might as well be ‘Upset City’ because the No. 1 team in the land just went down in the quarterfinals.
The Ole Miss Rebels built up a 2-0 lead on the Florida Gators in the first inning of their quarterfinals matchup on Thursday. As it turned out, that was all the offense they would need as the eighth-seeded Rebels knocked off the top seed in the SEC Softball Tournament.
Dylinn Stancil was responsible for what would turn out to be the game-winning hit. Stancil knocked in two with a double as part of a two hit day at the office. With Kaitlin Lee performing well again, shutting out the stout Gator offense, Stancil’s two-run double was everything and more for Ole Miss, who now turns their attention to a semifinal matchup with Alabama.
Elantra Cox upped her average to .419 with a two-hit day at the plate. Kylan Becker, Kaylee Horton and Paige McKinney got the other three hits that the Rebels amassed in the upset win. Only Kayli Kvistad and Janell Wheaton were able to rack up hits and neither of them were for extra bases.
Auburn 2, Kentucky 0
After being deadlocked at zero for 5.5 innings, Auburn Tigers 1st baseman Kendall Veach broke the scoreless tie with a two-run blast that proved to be the big benefactor. After shutting the Wildcats down in the ensuing top half of the seventh inning, the Tigers celebrated a 2-0 victory that helped them advance to Friday’s semifinals.
Veach’s bomb was one of just three hits the Tigers recorded in the win as Erin Rethlake was terrific up until the dagger was delivered. Only Kasey Cooper and Alyssa Rivera were able to scrap together hits aside from Veach’s 2-run blast as the usually great Tiger offense was stymied.
Kentucky collected more hits (6) but no runs were able to come to pass against Kaylee Carlson. Katie Reed had a two-hit day out of the leadoff spot and Brooklin Hinz had two hits as well in the three-spot but ultimately the Cats weren’t able to manufacture any runs.
Auburn moves on and will face LSU.
LSU 6, Tennessee 2
Allie Walljasper and the LSU Tigers made the host Tennessee Volunteers’ stay in the SEC Tournament quite brief, as the Tigers knocked off the #3 seed, 6-2.
Tennessee held a 2-0 lead after three innings thanks to two Brooke Vines RBIs, one in each of her first two at-bats. The Vols looked to be in the drivers seat as Matty Moss was pitching a stress-free game.
Bailey Landry lead off the LSU fourth inning with a double, and scored thanks to back to back sacrifice flies. Constance Quinn singled and stole second before Sydney Springfield doubled her home to tie the game at two.
LSU’s fifth inning was even more productive, as the Tigers tacked on four runs on four hits, an error, and a wild pitch. By the time the fifth inning concluded, the Tigers had a 6-2 lead.
That lead would ultimately hold up, as LSU knocked off the Vols to head to the semifinals.
They’ll face the Auburn Tigers Friday evening.