March 16, 2013
Auburn, Ala. - The 25th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs got a pair of solo home runs from Kaylee Puailoa to claim a 2-0 victory over the Auburn softball team Saturday afternoon.
The loss dropped Auburn to 20-9 overall and 1-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia improved to 20-7 overall and 2-0 in the SEC. The win also gave the Bulldogs a series win over the Tigers. Auburn and Georgia conclude the series with a 1 p.m. game Sunday.
"I'm proud of the way we came out today after last night's game," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We had some chances, again, but just couldn't get a hit when we had runners on base. I'm proud of the way Marcy (Harper) pitched today; she kept it close and never let them get a big inning."
Marcy Harper took the loss in a complete-game effort to fall to 10-3. Harper allowed two runs, both earned, on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Morgan Montemayor improved to 6-4 with the complete-game win. Montemayor allowed four hits with two walks and six strikeouts and forced the Tigers into stranding seven runners on base.
The Tigers put the first two batters on in the bottom of the fourth. Branndi Melero drew a leadoff walk and took second on a single to shallow center by Emily Carosone. A sac bunt by Brooke Lathan moved the runners up to third and second with one out. Montemayor worked out of the jam, however, with a pair of called third strikes on Caitlin Schultze and McKenzie Kilpatrick to leave the runners stranded.
After retiring seven straight Georgia hitters, Harper allowed the first run of the game on a leadoff home run from Kaylee Puailoa in the top of the fifth. It was Puailoa's sixth home run of the season, second of the series, and it gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Auburn put the leadoff batter on for the second consecutive inning when Baylee Stephens reached on a fielding error to open the bottom of the fifth. Stephens took second base after tagging on a foul pop-up behind home plate. Montemayor then forced Estell into an infield pop-up for the second out of the inning. The Tigers left Stephens stranded at second when Tiffany Howard hit into an inning-ending ground out to third.
The Tigers put runners on with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Lathan doubled to right and was followed by Schultze who drew a walk. Once again, however, Montemayor worked out of the jam when she forced Kilpatrick to fly out to left to end the inning.
Georgia made it a 2-0 game when Puailoa led off the top of the seventh with a home run to center. It was Puailoa's second home run of the day and seventh of the season.
In the bottom of the seventh, Montemayor got the first out on the first pitch when Stephens ground out to Tess Sito at second. On the second pitch of the inning, Montemayor forced Kelsey Bogaards to ground out to Sito for the second out. The game ended when Estell hit a short fly to shallow left that was caught by shortstop Paige Wilson.