Alabama softball took an early 2-0 lead against Tennessee in Friday's Super Regional opener, but the Lady Vols took advantage of a fifth-inning error and went on to win 3-2 over the Crimson Tide.

Alabama's offense generated a run in the first inning when Kristen White led off with a single, advanced to third base on an error, and scored on a wild pitch. The Crimson Tide tacked on another run in the second inning when Marlie Giles was hit by a pitch and was driven in by Riley Valentine’s RBI single. However, that was the extent of the scoring for the Tide, which ended with six hits, only one of which was for extra bases.

Kayla Beaver cruised through the first four innings, only allowing one hit before walking the leadoff batter in the fifth, a walk that would prove to be costly. With two outs, second baseman Kali Heivilin bobbled a ground ball, allowing the runner to score from second base. The very next batter, Tennessee's Laura Mealer, homered, bringing in two more runs and giving Tennessee its first lead. This ended Beaver's outing, who finished with no earned runs but took the loss after allowing three unearned runs.

"Today's game was just a barn-burner,” said head coach Patrick Murphy after the game. “We've improved so much game after game leading up to the postseason. In all three phases of the game. We had double the hits and half as many errors and the only thing we didn't win at is the final score. It was a hell of a first game and I think all of us are looking forward to tomorrow and we'll see what happens. This team doesn't quit and neither will the coaching staff."

The second game of the best-of-three series is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. CT. If Alabama wins, it will push the series to a decisive game on Sunday in Knoxville to determine which team secures a place in the Women's College World Series.

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