KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The top-ranked Alabama softball team fought back in the seventh to only see Tennessee earn a walk-off win, with a bases loaded single to claim the Southeastern Conference opener, 4-3, Friday night at Lee Stadium. After the loss, the Crimson Tide moves to 22-2 overall and 0-1 in SEC play.
Tennessee (20-3, 1-0 SEC) loaded the bases in the seventh and cashed in the winning run on a walk-off single from Madison Shipman down the left field line.
Down to its final three outs in the seventh inning, the Tide scored two runs in the frame to extend the contest. Hawkins provided the big hit with a bases-clearing triple to left, scoring sophomore Danielle Richard and Danae Hays all the way from first.
Jackie Traina (10-2) was tagged with the loss. The junior allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out four while walking five.
Junior Kayla Braud and freshman Andea Hawkins tallied four of the Tide's six hits. Braud batted 2-for-4 while Hawkins went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
After three innings of a pitcher's duel, Tennessee broke through in the fourth. With two runners on to start the frame, Cheyanne Tarango hit her sixth home run of the season, clearing the wall in left-center to give the Lady Vols a 3-0 lead.
Alabama broke the no-hitter by Ellen Renfroe and the shutout in the same inning as the Tide plated a single run in the sixth. After Hawkins broke the no-hitter, junior Kaila Hunt drove in Braud from second on a base hit to left. The Tide threatened, loading the bases but were unable to push across anymore runs.
Alabama will return to action for game two of the series on Saturday, March 9, with first pitch slated for 1:30 p.m. CT.