Feb. 16, 2013
Auburn, Ala. - The Auburn softball team rallied from deficits of three runs and two runs to claim an 8-5 win over Kansas Saturday afternoon at Jane B. Moore Field.
Auburn improved to 10-0 with the victory and will next take on Bryant at 2 p.m. Sunday. Kansas fell to 6-2.
"This was a really solid win for our team," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We did pretty much what we have all season, getting better with each at-bat. We didn't get much going early, but we kept getting at-bats and it finally came together in the sixth inning. Mo (Morgan Estell) and Branndi (Melero) each came through with big hits. Kelsey (Bogaards) gave us a chance with a walk and stealing a base. This was a good team win."
Lexi Davis earned the win in relief to improve to 3-0. Davis pitched the final four and one-third innings allowing two runs, both earned, on five hits with two walks and one strikeout.
Kelsey Kessler (2-2) took the loss in relief, allowing three runs, all earned, on two hits with one walk in two-thirds of an inning. Alicia Pille started and went five and one-third innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Kansas pitching issued seven walks while the Jayhawks stranded a game-high 11 runners on base in the game.
Kansas jumped out early, scoring a run in the top of the first inning. With one out, Kansas got consecutive doubles from Megan Hull and Alex Hugo, with Hugo's driving in Hull for a 1-0 Jayhawks' lead.
Kansas added to its lead in the top of the third inning. Hull led off with a walk and was followed by a one-out double by Maddie Stein which put runners at third and second. After a pop up for the second out, pinch-hitter Taylor Hatfield laced a single to right that plated both runners for a 3-0 Jayhawks lead.
The Tigers cut into the deficit with a two-out, solo home run by Branndi Melero in the bottom of the third inning. It was Melero's first home run of the season and it cleared the wall in right to make it a 3-1 game.
In the bottom of the fourth, Caitlin Schultze delivered a two-out, RBI double that plated pinch-runner Kristyn Richards to make it a 3-2 game. Richards ran for Caitlin Jordan, who drew a one-out walk. Richards stole second and took third on a wild pitch, setting up Schultze's RBI double.
Kansas responded to the Auburn rally, pushing across a run in the top of the fifth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Alex Jones hit a hard chopper past Carosone at third and into left field which plated Chaley Brickey (fielder's choice) to make it a 4-2 game.
Auburn made it a 4-3 game in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Estell doubled and Melero singled to put runners at third and second. Brooke Lathan drew a walk to load the bases and McKenzie Kilpatrick lofted a sacrifice fly to left that scored Estell from third. With runners at second and first, Jordan took strike three on a 3-2 count to end the rally with the Tigers trailing by one.
The Tigers scored for the fourth consecutive inning, this time taking the lead on a two-out, two-run double by Estell in the bottom of the sixth. Carosone singled to open the inning and took second on a one-out walk to Kelsey Bogaards. Carosone alertly took third on a pop-out to put runners on the corners with two outs. Bogaards then stole second. On a 2-2 pitch, Estell laced a double to the wall in left to score both runners and give the Tigers a 5-4 lead.
After Melero drew a walk, Lathan blooped a single into right-center to push Estell home and increase the Tigers' lead to 6-4. Melero took third while Lathan advanced to second on the relay throw home. Kilpatrick followed with a walk to load the bases and Jordan followed with a walk to push Melero home to make it a 7-4 game. The Tigers took a third straight walk, this time to Carosone which plated Lathan to make it an 8-4 lead which capped the scoring.
In the top of the seventh, Mariah Montgomery made it an 8-5 game with a one-out, solo home run to left. It was Montgomery's first home run of the season. That would be all the Jayhawks would get, however, as Davis registered the final two outs of the inning to end the game.