The 2021 SEC Softball Tournament is in full swing! The event began on Tuesday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, with 13 teams vying for the honor of being SEC Tournament Champions on the line. Here you’ll find all the updates you need on the tournament, plus information on the bracket and what lies ahead for the squads of the SEC.
South Carolina 3, Auburn 1
South Carolina sent Auburn packing with their 3-1 victory over the Tigers. The tournament opener got off to a hot start, as both teams plated runs in the first inning. South Carolina would take the lead however in the ensuing frame. Kenzi Maguire earned a bases-loaded walk that brought Riley Blampied in to score, giving the Gamecocks a 2-1 lead. That was later padded on all the way in the seventh inning. Cayla Drotar hit a single to bring Maguire in to give them insurance.
Unfortunately, things turned sour on this play. Drotar was injured in a collision at first base and taken to a local hospital following the play. Luckily, the Gamecocks later announced that she was OK after suffering the injury.
The Gamecocks will play 5-seeded LSU on Wednesday.
Mississippi State’s surge continued Wednesday with their 3-1 win over rival Ole Miss.
The victory advances State through to the second round of SEC Tournament action. They ambushed the rival Rebels right away, as they loaded up the bases on three consecutive singles to start the game. Mia Davidson then drew a bases-loaded walk on four pitches, bringing the first run in. Addison Purvis then drove in a run on a sac groundout, giving State a 2-0 lead.
State then added onto the lead in the top of the third. Carter Spexarth led off the inning with a solo bomb to left, widening the lead up to 3-0. The Rebels would finally answer in the bottom of the fourth inning, this after a flyout by Blaise Biringer. The throw to home plate went awry, scoring Abbey Latham to give the Rebs their first run of the game. That would, unfortunately, be their only run of the game though.
LSU 7, South Carolina 3
The LSU Tigers romped the upset-minded South Carolina Gamecocks in the second game of SEC Tournament action on Wednesday. The Tigers’ 7-3 win earned them a trip into the second round of the tournament, as they’ll get back on the field Thursday.
LSU kept SC off the board entirely until the sixth inning. By then, the Tigers had a 5-0 advantage going for them. Amanda Doyle put across a run with a sacrifice fly in the first. They then put up two more runs in the fourth, followed by two more in the fifth. Though the Gamecocks closed in and made it 5-3, LSU answered with two more runs in the ensuing stanza. So unfortunately for South Carolina, LSU just had all the answers and advantages going for them.
Tennessee 3, Texas A&M 2
Ivy Davis hit a walk-off double to lift Tennessee to victory over Texas A&M after nine innings of action. The dramatic, extra-inning victory for the Vols propelled them into the second round and sent their Aggie foes back home to College Station.
Tennessee scored first in the game, as Ally Shipman brought Amanda Ayala home off a sacrifice fly. UT couldn’t keep A&M off the board for long though, as the Aggies tied the game in the top of the third. Makinzy Herzog took Ashley Rogers deep for a solo blast to even things up at one run apiece.
The 1-1 tie would be how this game would be for much of the rest of the game. In the top of the ninth, Herzog struck yet again, homering to right field while deep into a full count. It seemed Herzog would have all the heroics, but sports is cruel sometimes. Davis would get the bat in her hands in the bottom stanza and brought the Vols the victory and ripped it away from the Aggies, who had it all the way until they didn’t.
Kentucky 3, Georgia 0
Kentucky earned a shutout win over Georgia to advance to the second round of the SEC Tournament. The Wildcats defeated the Bulldogs 3-0, as they allowed just three hits on the night to stifle and stymie the Dawgs offense.
Erin Coffel got the party started with an RBI single that brought leadoff hitter Kayla Kowalik home in the first inning. Three innings later, Coffel led off with a single and went to third base on a double by Mallory Peyton. Renee Abernathy then hit a sac fly to bring Coffel across home plate to widen the lead to 2-0. They tacked onto that lead in the fifth when Miranda Stoddard led off the frame with a bomb.
Autumn Humes pitched a CGSHO, striking out 10 Dawg batters in the process.
Florida 6, Mississippi State 2
Mississippi State had it until they didn’t on Thursday.
The Bulldogs held a 2-0 advantage over the top-seeded Florida Gators through 4.5 innings. Trouble brewed for them in the bottom of the fifth, and the Gators overtook State with one swing of the bat. Kendyl Lindaman connected on a pitch and sent it to right field. The blast soared over the fence and put the Gators on top, and UF would stay there, earning a 6-2 victory and a trip to the semifinals.
Lindaman’s blast was the biggest blow of the game but was later matched by one Charla Echols. Echols put the game away with a three-run homer of her own in the bottom of the sixth. So, Echols and Lindaman certainly were your standouts from Thursday afternoon’s clash between UF and MSU.
Mizzou 4, LSU 1
Missouri stormed past LSU to advance through to the SEC Tournament Semifinal on Thursday. The Tigers beat the other set of Tigers 4-1 in a game that they controlled for much of it. Mizzou struck first after a throwing error allowed for Hatti Moore to score the game’s first run. After the second and third innings went quiet, Mizzou struck again in the fourth.
Cayla Kessinger went yard for the 12th time this season to start the stanza off. Later, Emma Raabe and Riley Frizell drew walks, which soon would lead to an RBI single by Brooke Wilmes. Wilmes would have another RBI single in the bottom of the sixth that tacked on the final run of the game.
Mizzou will have a heavy task ahead of them in the form of Florida on Friday afternoon.
Tennessee 1, Arkansas 0
— Zach Remelius
With the win, Tennessee will head to the tournament semifinals to face off against either Alabama or Kentucky. The story of this game was the incredible pitching duel between starters Ashley Rogers and Mary Haff. The two teams combined for three hits, the most important one came from Tennessee catcher Ally Shipman. Shipman homered in the 5th inning to give Tennessee the ever-so slim lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Shipman’s home run was the first hit by either team.
Ashley Rogers was incredible, allowing one hit and three walks over seven innings with 12 strikeouts. Despite her dominance, she did have to wriggle out of a couple of jams with runners on but with her rise ball she was able to strand five Arkansas runners. Mary Huff on the Hogs side of things. She finished the game with the loss but only allowed two hits, struck out five, and didn’t walk anyone. This game can be cruel sometimes, but the Razorbacks can’t be too deterred as they surely await a favorable seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Alabama 5, Kentucky 1
— Robert O’Neill
The Tide continued rolling Thursday night, picking up a 5-1 win over the Wildcats. Bailey Hemphill got the scoring going in the very first inning with a solo home run, and would add on a two-run homer in the seventh to pull into a first place tie for career home runs by an Alabama softball player.
Montana Fouts was dominant in the circle, tying the all-time SEC Tournament strikeout record with 15 on the evening and allowing just one run, which was unearned.
Kentucky managed just five hits in the game as Fouts just overpowered them throughout.