Softball Defeats Georgia Southern and Belmont



Feb. 25, 2011

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Auburn, Ala. - Pitcher Lauren Schmalz racked up 16 strikeouts and earned a pair of wins as the Auburn softball team defeated Georgia Southern 9-1 and Belmont 8-5 in the first day of the War Eagle Classic at Jane B. Moore Field.

Auburn improved to 12-0 and set the team record for most consecutive wins, eclipsing the 2004 team record of 11 consecutive wins. Georgia Southern dropped to 4-8, while Belmont fell to 4-7.

Auburn returns to action Saturday with two games. The Tigers play Marshall at 12:30 p.m. and Murray State at 3 p.m.

In Auburn's first game of the day, Kyndall White drove in three runs and Caitlin Stangl drove in two to lead Auburn a 9-1 victory over Georgia Southern in five innings.

Lauren Schmalz (6-0) started and earned the win. Schmalz went 4.0 innings, allowing one run (earned) on three hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. Alyssia Palomino went the final inning, retiring the side in order.

Brianna Streetmon (3-3) took the loss after giving up nine runs, four earned, on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

Caitlin Stangl gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Amber Harrison doubled to open the inning and moved to second on Hilary Mavromat's ground ball to short that was booted by Jorie Walker. With one out, Stangl lofted a sac fly to center that scored Harrison and gave Auburn its first run of the game.

Morgan Estell followed Stangl with a single back through the middle that scored Baylee Stephens, who pinch-ran for Mavromat, and gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

Georgia Southern got on the board in the top of the third inning on Marie Fogle's lead-off home run. It was Fogle's fourth home run of the season and easily cleared the wall in center to make it a 2-1 game.

Auburn took advantage of two Georgia Southern errors to extend its lead in the third. Lauren Guzman reached when her bunt was mishandled by first baseman Tabby Douberley. Kelsey Cartwright followed with a ground ball that Walker fielded at short and flipped to second, but Guzman beat the throw. Elizabeth Eisterhold pushed the runners to second and third with a sac bunt to third.

Kyndall White then hit a ground ball to short, bringing Guzman home. Walker fielded White's ground ball, but threw wild to third attempting to force Cartwright out. Cartwright scored on the wild throw to make it 4-1 Auburn. Harrison walked and took second when White stole third. A passed ball by catcher Mackenzie Williams allowed White to score to push the Auburn lead to 5-1.

Still in the third, Stangl picked up her second RBI of the day with a perfectly executed squeeze bunt that scored Harrison from third and made it a 6-1 game.

The Tigers added to its lead in the fourth as three runs crossed the plate. Katie Colton doubled and reached third on interference by the shortstop as she took her turn at second. Cartwright singled through the middle to plate Colton for a 7-1 lead. One batter later, White cranked a two-run home run over the scoreboard in left to make it a 9-1 lead for the Tigers. It was White's second home run of the season and the 24th of her career.

Palomino relieved Schmalz in the top of the fifth and set the side down in order to end the game on the eight-run rule after five innings.

In Auburn's second game, the Tigers overcame three errors from its defense to pull out an 8-5 victory over Belmont. Lauren Schmalz earned the win in relief to improve to 7-0. Schmalz pitched 4.0 innings, allowing one run, unearned, on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.

Devon Schmidt took the loss in relief to fall to 4-4. Schmidt allowed four runs, one earned, on five hits in 3.0 innings of work.

Elizabeth Eisterhold's single up the middle drove in Caitlin Stangl with two outs in the top of the first inning. Stangl single to open the game, stole second and moved to third on a ground out by Kyndall White. After a walk to Amber Harrison, Eisterhold drove Stangl in for a 1-0 Auburn lead.

Hilary Mavromat gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead with a lead-off home run in the top of the second inning. It was Mavromat's second home run of the season.

Katie Colton gave Auburn a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning with a double off the wall in right-center that plated Caitlin Schultze, who drew a lead-off walk to open the inning. Two batters later, Kyndall White drove Colton home with a two-out single to center. The RBI was White's fourth on the day and gave Auburn a 4-0 lead.

Belmont rallied to take the lead in the fourth inning. Ashley Byers walked to open the inning and moved to second when Maris Medina booted Courtney Elrod's grounder. Julie Harmon was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Kelley Cash walked to force a run home to make it 4-1. Starting pitcher Angel Bunner was lifted for Schmalz following the bases loaded walk.

Schmalz hit the first batter she faced to force home a run and make it a 4-2 game. Kimberly Johnson followed with a sac fly to left that plated Harmon to make it a one-run game at 4-3. A fielder's choice resulted in a force out for the second out of the inning, but Hanna Irwin blooped a single up the middle that plated Cash to tie the game at 4-4. Ashley Smith then popped up, but Schmalz dropped the ball, allowing Hammer to score and give Belmont a 5-4 lead.

The lead was short lived as Auburn rallied in the top of the fifth. Eisterhold walked to open the inning and was lifted for pinch-runner Baylee Stephens. Cartwright singled to put runners on first and second. A sac bunt by Mavromat put the runners at second and third. After Schultze walked to load the bases, Colton singled Stephens home to make it 5-5. Cartwright was thrown out at home on the play for the second out.

Stangl then hit a ground ball that second baseman Courtney Elrod booted and let roll into right field. Right fielder Julie Harmon also booted the ball, allowing it to roll farther. Schultze and Colton scored on the two error play, giving the Tigers a 7-5 lead.

Auburn tacked on a run in the top of the seventh, again benefitting from a Belmont error. Hammer threw wildly on a ground ball by Stangl that allowed Colton to score from first with two outs, for an 8-5 lead.

Despite allowing a lead-off double in the bottom of the seventh, Schmalz set the Bruins down to seal the victory for the Tigers.