March 10, 2007
Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
The Auburn softball team scored five runs on seven hits in the eighth inning Saturday en route to a 9-4 victory over Kentucky in the second game of a doubleheader at the UK Softball Complex.
The win gave the Tigers a doubleheader sweep of the Wildcats after posting a 10-1, five-inning victory over Kentucky in the first game.
"This is a great way to start conference play," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We should have won game two in seven innings, but I'm proud of the way the offense came back in the eighth inning. The whole offense produced today."
Auburn sent 10 batters to the plate in the eighth. The first three batters - Krista Klein, Jorja Bell and Ashley Arcuri - all reached on singles, with Myesha Finney plating the inning's first run on a sacrifice fly to center. Brittany Scott singled the next run, which was followed by a Holly Currie single. Sara Ghezzi made it three straight singles for the second time in the inning and her third RBI of the game.
The Tigers needed mid-game heroics from the middle of its order to even reach extra innings. Down 3-1 entering the fifth, Auburn used timely hitting from Tatiana Fernandez and Ghezzi to take a 4-3 lead.
Finney began the inning by reaching on a throwing error by Marnitz. Then Scott, pinch hitting for Lauren Walton, reached on a fielder's choice and watched Holly Currie fly out to left. Ghezzi battled Kentucky starter Amber Matousek to a 3-1 count before slamming the ball beyond the center field fence for her fourth home run of the season, tying the game, 3-3.
"That was a big inning for us," Deese said. "Our hitters did a great job of recognizing the situation and reacting. I'm proud of Sara and Tatiana."
Fernandez, the next batter, took a 3-2 pitch from reliever Jenny Young and hit it over the right field fence, marking the Tigers' first back-to-back home runs of the season. It gave Auburn (13-12 overall, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) a 4-3 lead.
The Wildcats (12-6, 0-2 SEC), however, answered back in the bottom half of the seventh, scoring a solo run to force extra innings. Ashley Fertic reached on a walk with two outs, and scored when Becky Bishop singled to right and the throw to third was errant.
Kentucky opened the game's scoring in the second. Bishop hit her third home run of the season, a two-run shot, off Currie to go up, 2-0. The Wildcats added to the lead in the third when Molly Johnson flew out to right, scoring Audrey Meyer from third.
The Tigers answered back top half of the fourth. Ghezzi singled to start the inning, and moved to second on a Harrelson walk. Two batters later, Bell singled up the middle, getting Ghezzi in from third.
Currie started game two for the Tigers, working four innings in her 12th start of the season. She scattered five hits and three runs while striking out one and walking four. She did not figure in the decision.
Anna Thompson won her second game of the afternoon, improving to 8-6 overall. She worked four innings of relief, striking out seven while scattering three hits and one run, unearned.
Megan Jolly, who started game one, was the second Kentucky reliever in game two and was saddled with her second loss of the afternoon. She fell to 2-2 this season after allowing nine hits and five runs over 3 1/3 innings.
In game one, the Tigers used a five-run first inning and Thompson's 13-strikeout effort for a 10-1, five-inning victory over the Wildcats, the team's fourth straight SEC opening victory.
Five Tigers had two hits in the 13-hit effort in game one, including Fernandez, who hit a three-run home run in the second and tied a career-high with four RBI. Currie, Lindsey Harrelson and Ashley Arcuri also doubled in the win.
Thompson improved to 7-6 this season after reaching her seventh double-digit strikeout effort of the season. She walked three and hit two batters to improve to 4-1 with a save in her last seven appearances
Thompson's only blemish came in the third inning on Marnitz's ninth home run of the season, a solo shot that cleared the left field fence. Thompson later gave up a single on a bunt to Natalie Smith in the fifth, but stranded her at second to end the game.
"Anna was impressive in her first SEC start," Deese said. "She got behind on a few batters early, but made adjustments and was able to keep Kentucky from making real solid contact. It's a good start for her to build on as we get into conference play."
The Tigers gave Thompson a big cushion to start the game, going up 8-0 after two innings. They began the game by chasing Kentucky starter Megan Jolly after just 2/3 of an inning, pushing five runs across the board in the first inning. Auburn sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, posting six hits and capitalizing on two Kentucky errors.
The five-run first saw the Tigers earn all six hits on singles, with Ghezzi and Fernandez earning RBIs with singles to right center. Walton set the inning's tone with an infield single, and scored two batters later when Ghezzi found the gap in right center. Fernandez then scored Krista Klein, who was pinch running for Currie, with another single to right center. Ghezzi came around to score on the play from second when Meyer could not field the ball cleanly.
Harrelson continued Auburn's offensive onslaught with an infield single, and moved to second on a single by Bell to left. Nicole Russo made it three singles in a row with a shot to left, a hit that chased Jolly and scored Harrelson when the Wildcat left fielder, Ashley Fertic, committing the team's second error of the inning. With Jennifer Young on in relief of Jolly, Arcuri walked, and on the same play, moved to second when Russo scored on a wild pitch.
Auburn nearly equaled its offensive output in the second inning, coming on one swing. Currie began the inning with a double to right center, and after Ghezzi walked, scored when Fernandez hit a three-run shot over the left center field fence. It was Fernandez's second home run of the season and put Auburn up, 8-0.
Jolly was roughed up for six hits and five runs against eight batters. She walked one in the loss.
The Tigers and Wildcats play the series finale Sunday at 12 p.m. CT. Catch the game live by tuning into WZMG-AM (910) with Nathan Ealy behind the mic. Live stats and live audio are also available by visiting www.auburntigers.com.
Tiger Notes: The Tigers wore their white uniforms and are now 4-3 in them this season ... Sara Ghezzi started both games, moving her into seventh place in Auburn history with 211 games played ... If she plays Sunday, she will move into a tie for sixth with Marcella Passarelli (1998-2001) ... Myesha Finney was hit by a pitch in the first inning of the first game for the 11th time this season ... That moves her just three away from tying AU's single-season record of 14 by Sarah Orozco in 2000 ... After starting the season 0-3, Anna Thompson is 7-4 ... Sara Ghezzi extended her hit streak to five games.