IRONDALE, Ala. — The Southern softball weathered a late rally from Mississippi Valley State to secure a 5-4 opening-round win in the Southwestern Athletic Conference softball tournament on Wednesday.

Southern advances to meet Alabama State, a 9-0 winner over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

The Lady Jaguars led 5-1 entering the top of the seventh before Valley’s Ane Pahulu hit a two out, two-run homer to centerfield.

Southern pitcher Tiara Scott allowed a triple to Holly Brown and a RBI double to Sharia Comie to pull Valley within one run.

Scott, who picked up the complete-game win, recorded her fourth strikeout for the game’s final out, getting Alexandra Do to swing on a full count.

Scott allowed four runs on 12 hits.

Shortstop Ryan Hollis went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs to lead Southern.

In the second inning, Hollis got Southern on the board first with a bases-loaded single that scored Adriane Roberson and Jaslyn Perrodin. Sydney Andrews added an RBI single that scored pinch runner Celeste Williams to give SU an early 3-0 lead.

The Lady Jaguars tacked on two more runs in the fourth before Valley scored its first run of the game on Deja Talton’s RBI single in the top of the fifth.