March 12, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. - Holly Currie and Taryn Gray both went 3 for 4 as the 20th-ranked Auburn softball team overcame an early deficit for a 7-6 eight-inning victory over Kentucky Sunday at Jane B. Moore Field. The win gave Auburn a sweep of the Wildcats as the Tigers have won 14 of their last 15 games against Kentucky.
Currie and Gray both paced the Auburn offense, which rapped out 13 hits after falling behind 5-0 in the first. The Tigers, who improved to 2-1 in extra inning games this season, scored in six of their eight innings for the come-from-behind win.
"You have to win games like these," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "It's important to start the season on the right foot. There will be high scoring games like these in the future and we proved we have the ability to come back."
Currie was struck for five runs and five hits in Kentucky's first, but saw the Tigers slowly chip away at the lead. The Pisgah, Ala., native helped her cause in the third, stroking a two-run home run that hit the Auburn AU on the scoreboard. That pulled the Tigers to within one.
Kentucky answered back with a solo run in the fourth, but could not hold the Tigers back as Auburn scored one in the fourth and another in the fifth, which set up Auburn's game-winning eighth inning.
Gray singled to start off the eighth, then moved to second on a Kristina McCain single. A batter later, the Tigers (19-4 overall, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) came through with the game's final run as Ashley Griffin, who bunted on the play, reached on a throwing error by Kentucky first baseman Megan Glenn. The ball went into right field, enabling Gray to score from second.
Currie allowed just three hits after her rocky first and improved to 11-2 on the season. She walked four and struck out six in her 11th start of the season.
Gray tied her season-high in hits with three, while Currie had her team-leading seventh multi-RBI game of the season. McCain posted two singles for the Tigers, giving her two multi-hit games on the weekend and eight on the year.
Kentucky (12-9, 0-3) threw three pitchers at the Tigers, with each allowing at least two runs. Jessica Trueblood, who came in after Currie's home run in the third, fell to 4-5 on the year after working 4 1/3 innings. She struck out one and allowed six hits, giving up three Tiger runs.
After defeating Kentucky 2-1 and 3-0 Saturday, the Tigers have now swept their SEC opening series for the third straight season. The Tigers achieved the feat the past two years against Arkansas.
The Tigers next take the field Tuesday in a non-conference game against Troy at Jane B. Moore Field. The game, which starts at 6 p.m. CT., will be carried live on www.auburntigers.com and WZMG-AM (910).
Prior to the contest, on Monday, the team and LifeSouth will sponsor a "Friends of the Patient" Blood Drive from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT. The drive will be held at the McWhorter Center and Jane B. Moore Field.
TIGER NOTES: The Tigers wore their white uniforms and improved to 7-1 in them this season ... The Tigers finished with at least 10 hits in two straight games for the fourth time this season ... Auburn had 11 hits in the second game Saturday against Kentucky and the Tigers had 13 Sunday ... The Tigers last achieved the feat in February, finishing with 11 hits against Jacksonville State and then 20 against Mercer ... Auburn is on a better pace than its 2005 season, as the Tigers were 18-5 after 23 games last season ... The Tigers are 8-1 in March this season.