Feb. 17, 2012
Box Score |
Auburn, Ala. -
Lauren Guzman, Caitlin Jordan and Elizabeth Eisterhold each homered as the Auburn softball used a six-run fifth inning to break open a close game and blank the 15th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowgirls 8-0 in the first day of the SEC/ACC/Big 12 Challenge.
Auburn improved to 6-0 with the win, while Oklahoma State dropped to 4-3. Auburn returns to action Saturday at 3 p.m. against the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners.
"I thought we played well enough to win today," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We didn't hit great the first four innings. Then in the fifth, we did hit great. Our pitching was good, but not great. Oklahoma State hit us around a little, but Lauren and Jenee did their job in keeping them off the scoreboard. This is certainly a good win for us, but we have room for improvement."
Lauren Schmalz started and threw four and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball to earn the win and improve to 3-0. Schmalz gave up seven hits and struck out four without issuing a walk. Jenee Loree worked the final one-third of the game, forcing a line-out.
Lauren Guzman broke a scoreless tie with a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. The inning opened with Caitlin Jordan taking first base on a hit-by-pitch. Kristyn Richards was put in to run for Jordan. After a fly out, Brooke Lathan moved Richards to second with a sac bunt.
Guzman then followed with her first home run of the season, and sixth of her career, that sailed over the wall in left to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Schmalz was relieved in the top of the fifth inning. After retiring the first two hitters of the inning, Schmalz gave up consecutive singles to Ari Morrison and Kelsey Anchors to put runners at first and second. Loree came in and forced a first-pitch line out to Guzman at short to end the inning.
Auburn ended the game open in the bottom of the fifth, pushing six runs across the plate. The first three Auburn hitters reached to open the bottom of the fifth. Caitlin Schultze laced a leadoff single to center and moved to second on Amber Harrison's single down the third base line. Morgan Estell drew a walk to load the bases and Branndi Melero followed with a sac fly to left that scored Schultze and extended the Auburn lead to 3-0.
Jordan followed with her second home run of the season, taking a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right, to clear the bases and push the Tigers' lead to 6-0. Elizabeth Eisterhold made it back-to-back shots with a towering home run to left that made it a 7-0 game. The home run was Eisterhold's team-best fourth of the season and the 26th of her career.
Lathan then laced a single to left and moved to second on a bunt by Guzman. With two outs, Hilary Mavromat ended the game with a sharp single up the middle that brought Lathan home and gave the Tigers the final 8-0 margin.