Alabama Softball Squanders Late Lead, Drops Series to No. 7 Kentucky

The Crimson Tide held a four-run lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning
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Alabama looked to be in solid position to win a road SEC road series heading into the final two innings of Monday night's game against Kentucky. 

Instead, the Tide blew a 4-0 lead as the Wildcats walked off the game 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth to win not only the game, but also the series. It was the first extra-inning game of the year for Alabama. 

A leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth came back to bite the Crimson Tide. The runner advance all the way to third on a strikeout and throwing error by Bailey Hemphill. Alabama then intentionally loaded the bases to try and get a force out at home, and the Wildcats scored the winning run by beating out a throw to the plate on a grounder off the bat of Rylea Smith.

Starting pitcher Montana Fouts was completely shutting down the Wildcats' offense until the bottom of the sixth when Erin Coffel hit a two-run home run for Kentucky to pull the Cats within two runs. After giving up two more hits, Lexi Kilfoyl came in to relieve Fouts and got the final out of the inning.

To lead off the bottom of the seventh, Kilfoyl gave up back-to-back home runs to the eight and nine-hole hitters, which tied the game at 4-4. 

Making her first start of the series, Maddie Morgan drove in two runs, including an RBI double in the second inning. Hemphill also added to her team-leading RBI total, 28, with a two-run double in the top of the sixth. 

However, the Crimson Tide wasted many other potential scoring opportunities, leaving 10 runners on base. Alabama had leadoff doubles in the third and fourth inning that did not score and left the bases loaded in the third.

Elissa Brown stood on second with one out in the top of the eight as the potential go-ahead run, but was left stranded after back-to-back strikeouts. 

Alabama drops to 26-4 (6-3 SEC) and will have a quick turnaround with the Texas A&M series starting at Rhoads Stadium on Thursday because of the holiday weekend.

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