March 23, 2014
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Winning two SEC series in a row is something to be proud of, said Auburn softball coach Clint Myers, but you still never know what you're going to get from a young team.
Myers got something a little different Sunday from his young club.
Auburn's defense wasn't as sharp as before and Mississippi State used its familiarity with the Tigers' pitching for a 5-2 win at Jane B. Moore Field. The Tigers still left the field with the best record in school history after 34 games, now 28-5-1 overall and 4-2 in the SEC.
Auburn looked as if was headed to another comeback win, just as it had done in wins over the Bulldogs on Friday and Saturday. But, after taking a 2-1 lead in the third, Auburn saw State's Sam Lehahan hit a three-homer in the fifth that stood up.
"We've got to stay consistent. It's a young club," Myers said. "The difference between a young club and old club is an older club knows how to get it done each and every day. These guys are still trying to figure it out.
"They are the same club that beat LSU two out of three and Mississippi State two out of three. We're not in the panic mode. We're in the get-better mode."
State led 1-0 in the second before Branndi Melero tied it up with a solo homer in the bottom of the inning. Auburn went up 2-1 on a Kasey Cooper RBI single in the third. Auburn, for the second straight day, was limited to three hits.
State, by the fifth, started figuring out Auburn's Lexi Davis, who was starting for the second time in the weekend and pitching for the third straight day.
"Lexi pitched pretty well, but in the SEC, it has to be better than pretty well," Myers said. "And we clearly did not have the defense we've had in the past. It's tough to win when you give your opponent extra opportunities."
Lenahan hit an 0-2 pitch for the homer.
"It's always hard when a team sees you three times in a row," Davis said. "Our bats weren't on. I wasn't on. The third time they were starting to pick up on some stuff."
Davis did everything over the weekend, winning her 14th game, losing her fifth game and picking up her third save.
Auburn is on the road this coming week, playing at Georgia State on Wednesday before playing at Kentucky in a three-game series beginning Friday. The Tigers are on the road the following weekend, too, at powerhouse Florida.
Maria Mitchell takes a cut for Auburn on Sunday (Zach Bland photo)
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine