KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 5 seed Alabama completed the season sweep against No. 12 seed Arkansas, beating the Razorbacks 4-1 in Game 1 of the 2017 SEC Softball Tournament. This is the 18th consecutive year Alabama has won its tournament opener, the longest such streak in the SEC.
Alabama has won 11 straight games against Arkansas and 18 of the last 19. The Razorbacks last beat the Tide in 2012.
Alabama starting pitcher Sydney Littlejohn (15-7) struck out five batters in the win, giving up only five hits and one run over five innings.
"Anytime you get to start in the SEC tournament, especially to actually start the tournament, it's really exciting and a fun environment to be in," Littlejohn said.
Alexis Osorio was credited with the save, closing out the final two innings with three K's against the final six batters.
The Tide started the game with stingy defense and fast offense, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead. Alabama scored three runs in the first inning against Razorback pitcher Autumn Storms (16-15) while Littlejohn retired the first six Razorback batters.
The Razorback offense showed signs of life to start the third with back-to-back singles from Katie Warrick and Ashley Diaz. Littlejohn and the Alabama defense held strong, closing out the side with two runners left on base.
Nicole Schroeder put the Razorbacks on the board in the fourth with her 16th home run of the season, setting an Arkansas single-season record.
NEXT UP: Alabama faces No. 4 seed Texas A&M tomorrow in Game 5 of the SEC Softball tournament. This is the first meeting for these two teams this year. The game is scheduled at Noon ET on SEC Network.