Alabama and Georgia both rally in comeback wins to split doubleheader
ATHENS, Ga. -- Both fifth-ranked Alabama and eighth-ranked Georgia fashioned comeback victories in Saturday's doubleheader. The Crimson Tide took game one 7-4 in extra innings while the Bulldogs rallied to win game two 7-6 on a walk-off RBI single.
Alabama (19-3, 4-0 SEC) rallied to win game one, overcoming a 4-3 deficit in the seventh inning to tie the game and eventually earn the win in extra innings. Georgia (23-4, 2-2 SEC) followed a similar script in the second game, chipping away at the Crimson Tide's lead before finally breaking through in the seventh inning to win in walk-off fashion.
Between the two games, Marisa Runyon went 5-8 including two doubles and a home run. Demi Turner went 4-9 out of the two-hole including her go-ahead home run in extra innings in game one.
GAME ONE: ALABAMA 7, GEORGIA 4 (9 INNINGS)
Trailing 4-3 in the top of the seventh inning, Alabama would go on to score four unanswered runs, taking the 7-4 comeback victory in extra innings over Georgia to open the weekend series.
The late comeback was led by freshman Turner with a pair of clutch late at-bats to tie it in the seventh inning and take a lead in the top of the ninth. Danae Hays went 3-4 from the plate, finishing a home run shy of the cycle, while Leona Lafaele drove in two runs on a two-run homer in the fourth inning. After giving up a solo homer in the top of the fourth, starter Alexis Osorio (7-2) would go on to retire 18 consecutive batters to close out the complete game victory, striking out eight with zero walks.
Georgia held the Tide at bay for the majority of regulation, but starter Chelsea Wilkinson (13-4) was tagged for some late runs as she took the loss in the complete game effort. Paige Wilson led the offense with a 2-4 performance including a solo home run.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Turner muscled a two-out solo homer into right field to give the Tide a 5-4 lead and Jadyn Spencer followed that with another solo homer to center field, stretching the lead to 6-4. Hays put another run on the board with an RBI triple as the Tide took a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth.
Osorio made it 18 consecutive batters retired as she sat down Georgia in order in the bottom of the ninth to secure the extra-inning comeback victory for Alabama.
GAME TWO: GEORGIA 7, ALABAMA 6
Georgia fashioned its own comeback victory in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader, scoring three late runs to defeat Alabama 7-6 and even the series at 1-1.
The Crimson Tide jumped out to a 6-2 lead before the Bulldogs would come back with five unanaswered runs over the final four innings to earn the victory. McCleney and Turner went a combined 4-8 leading off the batting order while Runyon went 2-3 with a pair of RBI on a two-run homer. Tide starter Leslie Jury took a no-decision in the circle, throwing 4.1 innings while sophomore Sydney Littlejohn (8-1) suffered the loss in relief, her first of the season.
Georgia starter Brittany Gray (10-0) earned the complete game victory and the team overcame a trio of costly early errors to come back over the second half of the game. Sydni Emanuel and Paige Wilson combined to go 4-6 with three runs scored.