March 24, 2012
Box Score |
Auburn, Ala. -
Kentucky broke a tie game with a two-out, three-run rally in the fifth inning to claim a 5-2 victory over No. 21 Auburn softball Saturday afternoon.
Auburn's record dropped to 24-9 overall and 2-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky improved to 15-15 overall and 2-3 in the SEC. The victory also gave Kentucky the series win after the Wildcats took game one Friday night. The teams conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
"You have to give Kentucky credit, they made adjustments and were able to make the plays when they needed it," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We put ourselves in position to score a few more runs, but we couldn't get the hit when we needed it."
Jenee Loree took the loss in relief to fall to 8-4. Loree allowed four runs (one earned) on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts in five innings of work. Angel Bunner started and pitched the first two innings, allowing one run (earned) on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
Rachel Riley earned the complete-game win to improve to 4-4. Riley allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
The Wildcats took the early lead, pushing across one run in the top of the first inning. Kara Dill was hit by the first pitch of the game and took third on a one-out single to the gap in right-center by Riley. Griffin Joiner followed with a bloop single that dropped in shallow left to score Dill for a 1-0 Kentucky lead.
The Tigers answered in the bottom half of the inning to the tie the game 1-1. Lauren Guzman led off with a double down the third base line and took third on a ground out by Branndi Melero. With two outs, Amber Harrison hit a slow roller to shortstop and was able to beat the throw to first as Guzman scored to even the game.
Kentucky reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth inning. Ginny Carroll led off with a double to right-center and came around to score on a two-out double by Lauren Cumbess. Carroll's run gave UK a 2-1 edge.
The Tigers, once again, answered in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, Brooke Lathan doubled to the wall in left-center. Caitlin Schultze followed with a ground out to third, with Lathan taking the base on the throw to first. First baseman Lauren Cumbess fired back to third but Brittany Cervenates missed the throw, allowing Lathan to score the game-tying run on the error.
In the top of the fifth inning, Kentucky loaded the bases with just one out after Cervantes walked, Riley reached on a fielder's choice that did not produce an out and Joiner reached on a fielding error by Caitlin Schultze at third base. Loree picked up the second out of the inning with a swinging third strike on Carroll, which brought pinch-hitter Ellen Weaver to the plate.
On a 1-1 pitch, Weaver laced a double to the wall in right-center that cleared the bases and gave the Wildcats a 5-2 lead.
The Tigers missed scoring opportunities in each of the last three innings. Auburn loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth, but were unable to plate a run as Riley forced a pop up and a line out to end the inning.
After stranding a runner at second in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Tigers brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. Guzman reached on an error to open the frame and moved to second on a one-out walk to Elizabeth Eisterhold. But Riley slammed the door on a potential rally by forcing Harrison to pop up and ending the game on a called third strike of Caitlin Jordan.