ESPN changes time, TV designation for SEC Softball Tournament championship

On3 imageby:Nick Schultz05/12/23

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ESPN has announced a major change for Saturday’s SEC Softball Tournament championship game. The game was originally supposed to be on ESPN2, but it will now move to the main channel.

ESPN will air the title game between No. 10 seed South Carolina and No. 1 seed Tennessee. In addition, first pitch will move up from 5 p.m. ET to 3 p.m. ET.

The network made the announcement in the third inning of the Tennessee vs. Alabama game Friday night.

The SEC Softball Tournament has delivered plenty of exciting moments, many courtesy of South Carolina. The Gamecocks played two straight extra-inning games to start the tournament, including an eight-inning thriller that saw a more than four-hour lightning and rain delay interrupt things. They also had one of the biggest plays of the week Friday when Jordan Fabian hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to left South Carolina past Auburn 3-2 and become the first No. 10 seed to advance to the championship.

Those late heroics have been one of the stories of the tournament, and Fabian offered a simple explanation for South Carolina’s resiliency after her game-winner against Arkansas.

“Because we love each other,” she told ESPN2’s Holly Rowe. “We’re having a great time. We just want to keep shocking the world.”

Tennessee and No. 5 seed Alabama also played an entertaining game — one filled with home runs. The two teams combined to hit four homers, including three from the Volunteers. The biggest blast of the day came from Lair Beautae, who hit a grand slam to single-handedly erase a 4-0 Tennessee deficit and get the Lady Vols back in the game.

Katie Taylor’s home run in the bottom of the fourth wound up being the game-winner, as Alabama’s Ashley Prange hit a two-run shot to cut the Tennessee lead to 7-6. That proved to be the final score as the Lady Vols won the game — their second of the day — to set up the showdown with South Carolina in the tournament championship.

The last time the two teams squared off, South Carolina got the better of Tennessee. The Gamecocks won two games in the three-game series during the regular season, only losing the third game as the Lady Vols avoided the sweep. Tennessee will have a chance to get some payback on Sunday as both teams bring plenty of momentum into the matchup.