Feb. 7, 2014
AUBURN, Ala. – Brandi Malero’s three-run homer in the fifth inning broke the game open as Auburn beat North Dakota State 11-3 Friday in the Plainsman Invite and gave Clint Myers his first victory as the Tigers' head softball coach.
The game at Jane B. Moore Field was called after six innings because of a tournament run rule.
North Dakota State took a 3-1 lead after scoring a run in the first and two in the second, but the Tigers scored three in the second to take a 4-3 lead and put the game away when Malero’s homer sparked a five-run fifth.
“The thing that was impressive about tonight was they scored in the first inning and we came back and answered,” Myers said. “The second inning, they scored and we came back and answered. It’s about winning innings, and we did a much better job of staying with the plan and executing that plan.”
Auburn and Troy tied 5-5 Thursday night when rain wiped out a rally that had given Auburn a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning.
Friday, sophomore Marcy Harper got her second start and picked up the win after going two innings and giving up one earned run on four hits with two strikeouts. Sophomore Lexi Davis finished the game with four scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out four.
“You are going to see both of them pitching again,” Myers said. “We will hopefully see some of the other kids pitching. We will see Hilary Mavromat pitch a little bit and Jenna (Abbott) pitch a little bit. If we can continue to get strikes and play good defense, we will play with whoever is in the circle.”
The Bison scored the game’s first run when Cheyenne Garcia hit a triple down the right field line with two outs. She later scored after Amanda Grable singled to left field.
In the bottom half of the inning, Emily Carosone and freshman Kasey Cooper reached on a walk and an error. Two batters later, Carosone scored on a pass ball with the bases loaded.
After North Dakota State went ahead 3-1, Auburn rallied to take the lead for good, getting hits from junior Morgan Estell, Cooper and Malero in the heart of the lineup. Sophomore Tiffany Howard scored after reaching on a walk.
Davis shut down the Bison from there. In two games, she had pitched. In two games, Davis has gone 8 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Mckenzie Kilpatrick doubled down the left field line to score Estell.
In the fifth, Cooper’s single scored Howard and Carosone. Malero hit her second home run of the season to push Auburn’s lead to 10-3.
The run rule went into effect in the sixth when Estell’s third hit scored Howard from second. Estell, Carosone and Cooper, the top three in the batting order, had three hits apiece for Auburn. Malero and Kilpatrick had two apiece. Malero drove in four runs.
Auburn face Morehead State today at 3:30 p.m. and Louisiana-Monroe at 5:30 p.m. Notre Dame plays Tennessee Tech at 9 a.m.
Auburn games can be heard locally on WEGL 91.1 or online at AuburnTigers.com. Live video and live stats will also be available on AuburnTigers.com throughout the weekend for all games.
All home games at Jane B. Moore Field this year will require a purchased ticket unless otherwise specified. All ticket information can be found here on AuburnTigers.com.
For more information on Auburn softball, visit AuburnTigers.com, follow the team on Twitter @AuburnTigersSB or on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuburnSB.