March 14, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. - Kristina McCain hit a three-run home run and Sara Ghezzi added a solo shot as the 19th-ranked Auburn softball team defeated Troy, 4-3, in a non-conference game Tuesday at Jane B. Moore Field.
The win gave Auburn its fifth straight victory as the Tigers (20-4 overall) head to Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday. Auburn's three-game series against Tennessee begins a stretch of nine straight games in Southeastern Conference play.
"This is a big win tonight," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "Troy fought back late in the game, but our offense proved to be enough."
McCain's shot, her fourth of the season, came off Troy (13-15) starter Laine Harcourt in the second inning. The three-run blast came on a 0-1 count and put the Tigers up, 3-0.
Ghezzi added her team-leading fifth home run of the season in the third. The round tripper came as the right fielder led off the inning, and marked the 10th of her career.
Troy answered back and closed the gap in the sixth. With two runners on, designated player Katie Taber took a 3-2 pitch from Auburn starter Beth DiPietro and cleared the left field fence near the foul line.
DiPietro picked up the win for the Tigers and improved to 9-1 on the year. She allowed three runs and seven hits while striking out nine in six innings of work.
Junior Holly Currie came on in relief of DiPietro in the seventh and struck out the side, giving her three saves on the season.
McCain finished the game with a team-leading two hits, also doubling to lead off the game. It marked McCain's ninth multi-hit game of the season and the 35th of her career.
Harcourt threw a full six for Troy and fell to 5-7. She allowed seven hits while striking out seven and walking three.
Auburn next travels to visit No. 2 Tennessee in Knoxville Saturday and Sunday. Catch the games live on www.auburntigers.com and WZMG-AM (910). Live stats will also be available on www.auburntigers.com.
TIGER NOTES: The Tigers wore their orange uniforms for the just the second time this season ... Auburn is now 1-1 this season in the orange unis ... Before the game, the Tigers jumped to 19th in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Collegiate Poll, up from 20 a week before ... Auburn narrowly edged Nebraska for the 19th spot, earning 142 points to the Cornhuskers' 141.