Feb. 27, 2009
Auburn, Ala. -
Auburn pitcher Anna Thompson's 11 strikeout, three-hit performance and Kyndall White's two-run single in the fifth lifted the Auburn softball team to a 4-1 victory over the 11th-ranked Cal Bears and a split in the first day of the DeMarini Invitational.
The Tigers improved to 15-3 overall, while Cal dropped to 11-3. Auburn returns to action Saturday, with an 11 a.m. CT game against Cal Poly and a 1:15 p.m. game against Indiana.
"I am very proud of the way we came back to win this game after a rough game earlier in the day," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "Anna did a great job against their hitters and Kyndall White came through with the big hit when we needed it."
Thompson improved to 9-1 with the win, after throwing 7.0 innings and allowing one run, earned, on three hits with four walks and 11 strikeouts. It was Thompson's fifth double-digit strikeout performance of the season and third in her last four outings.
Marissa Drewrey took the loss to fall to 8-3. Drewrey allowed four runs, two earned, on six hits in 5.0 innings of work. Drewrey walked two and struck out six.
In the top of the first, Cal scored a run without benefit of a hit. Valerie Arioto and Shannon Thomas both walked to open the game and advanced to third and second, respectively, on a double steal. With one out, Thompson uncorked a wild pitch to the backstop, allowing Arioto to score for 1-0 Cal lead.
After walking the first two batters of the game and allowing a run on a wild pitch, Thompson settled into a groove and retired the next nine hitters in a row. Thompson struck out eight of the nine, three looking, and allowed just one non-strikeout out, a fly ball caught in right by Myesha Finney.
The Tigers missed a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the third when Amber Harrison
was thrown out at the plate for the third out of the inning. Harrison doubled to open the inning and attempted to score on a single up the middle by Lauren Guzman
Auburn finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth. Harrison walked to open the frame and moved to second on a one-out infield single by Finney. After a fly out to left by Guzman, Elizabeth Eisterhold drew a two-out walk to load the bases.
Kyndall White then blooped a 1-2 pitch just behind the first baseman into shallow right that scored Harrison and Finney to give Auburn a 2-1 lead. After White stole second to put runners at second and third, Tatiana Fernandez hit a ground ball that was booted by the Cal shortstop, allowing Eisterhold and White to score to give Auburn a 4-1 lead. Fernandez was out attempting to advance to second on the play to end the inning.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Cal tried to rally. Frani Echavarria reached on a fielding error by Fernandez and consecutive singles by Taylor Kelly and Elia Reed loaded the bases. Thompson, however, got Arioto and pinch-hitter Bernice Masaniai to both strike out swinging to end the game.
In game one of the day, Katie Holverson (6-4) struck out 11 and allowed one earned run on five hits as Nevada defeated Auburn 5-1 in the first game of the DeMarini Invitational.
Jenee Loree (6-2) took the loss for Auburn after allowing five runs, all earned, on five hits in 4.1 innings. Anna Thompson threw the final 1.2 innings in relief, allowing just one hit, one walk and striking out three.
Nevada wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, putting four runs up in the bottom of the first. Noelle Micka led off the frame by reaching on a fielding error by Tatiana Fernandez at third and moved to second on a single by Brittany Puzey. Britton Murdock followed with a single to load the bases with no outs.
After Loree fanned Kelsey Starr for the first out, Sam Bias launched an 0-1 pitch from Loree over the wall in left for a grand slam and a 4-0 Nevada lead.
Through the first four innings of play, Holverson was nearly unhittable. After giving up a single in the top of the first to Kyndall White, Holverson allowed just one Tiger to reach via a walk and fanned six.
The Wolf Pack extended their lead in the fifth. With one out, Micka doubled to right and came around to score on Murdock's single to center to push the lead to 5-0. With two on following the RBI single, Loree was lifted for Thompson who issued a walk to load the bases, but fanned the next two hitters to end the inning.
Lauren Guzman put the Tigers on the board in the top of the sixth. Myesha Finney was hit by a pitch and moved to second on White's single, to give the Tigers runners at first and second with no outs. After a pop out and a strikeout, Guzman singled to center to score Finney and make it a 5-1 game. That would be all Holverson would allow, however, as she ended the inning by fanning Taryn Gray.
The Tigers put two on in the seventh, but Holverson worked out of the jam without allowing a run to seal the win for Nevada.