Walk-off homerun lifts Alabama State to 7-6 win
IRONDALE, Ala. -- One out was all that stood between Southern University softball advancing one game closer to the program's first tournament final since 2009.
Leading 6-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Southern surrendered a four-run lead before Alabama State's Jenna Mae Thorne hit a walk-off homer to lift the Hornets to a 7-6 win in 9 innings Thursday at Shea Brothers Softball Complex.
SU will look to avoid elimination when the Lady Jaguars face Mississippi Valley Friday morning at 11 a.m. in a rematch of Wednesday's opening round game. Alabama State advances to battle Texas Southern in a match-up of the leagues division leaders at 2:30 p.m.
Holmes struck out ASU's lead off batter in the seventh but consecutive singles from Britney Wilson and Laura Aguilar ignited the Hornets rally. A Valerie Centeno RBI double followed by a 2 RBI double from Thomas trimmed SU lead to 6-5 before pinch hitter Charlene Castro RBI single with two outs tied the game.
Holmes would retire the next six ASU batters before Thomas sent the first pitch over the right field wall. She finished 3 for 4 with four RBIs. SU third baseman Jamari Greer went 3 for 4 at the plate, including a three-run blast to center field that produced the Lady Jaguars first lead.
After four scoreless innings and trailing 1-0, SU responded to score three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth. Catcher Kiara Suttles' sacrifice fly extended the lead to 6-2 before Alabama State late game heroics.