March 24, 2013
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - The fourth-ranked Alabama softball team sent 15 batters to the plate in an 11-run bottom half of the third to cruise to a 13-1 victory over Auburn softball Sunday afternoon.
Auburn fell to 21-13 overall and 2-7 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama improved to 29-4 overall and 6-3 in the SEC. The Tigers return to action Wednesday at 6 p.m. when they host the Troy Trojans at Jane B. Moore Field.
"The game really spiraled away from us in that third inning," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "Lexi lost command a little and they got their bats going. There's not a lot positive to take from this one. We're going to have to learn from this experience and use it to get ready for next week. We have a hungry Troy team coming in and then we go to Mississippi State and we're going to have to be ready for both."
Lexi Davis started and took the loss to fall to 5-5. Davis allowed 10 runs, all earned, on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts in two and one-third innings. Tiffany Howard allowed three runs, two earned, on one hit with two walks without registering an out in the third inning. Marcy Harper pitched the final one and two-thirds innings, allowing just two hits with one strikeout.
Jackie Traina earned the win to improve to 14-2. Traina allowed one run, earned, on one hit with four walks and one strikeout.
Alabama took advantage of an Auburn error to score the first run of the day. After drawing a leadoff walk, Haylie McCleney stole second base. Catcher Caitlin Schultze's throw sailed high and into centerfield and deflected off the foot of an oncoming Tiffany Howard in center. McCleney was able to score on the play for a 1-0 Alabama lead.
Following the run, Davis gave up an infield single to Kayla Braud who also stole second to move into scoring position. A walk to Kaila Hunt put runners at second and first with no outs. After registering consecutive outs, Davis appeared to be on the verge of working out of the jam until Lauren Sewell laced a single to left on the first pitch of the at-bat. The single scored Braud to give the Tide a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers took advantage of two Alabama errors to put the first two batters on in the top of the third. Maris Medina led off and reached when first baseman Jadyn Spencer failed to catch a throw from shortstop on a ground ball. Tiffany Howard followed with a catchable fly ball that leftfielder Braud allowed to hit off her glove, putting runners at second and first.
Morgan Estell took ball four on a 3-1 pitch to load the bases with no outs. Branndi Melero followed with a ground ball fielded by Spencer who fired home in time for the out on Medina. On a 3-2 pitch, Emily Carosone repeated the previous play when her ground ball to Spencer was fielded and thrown home in time for the out on Howard. Traina then fell behind Brooke Lathan 3-0 before working the count full and retiring Lathan on a pop up to short which ended the inning.
Alabama busted the game open in the bottom half of the third, scoring 11 runs as the first five batters all reached before an out was recorded. After Braud and Hunt each singled, Traina was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Spencer then made it a 4-0 game with a two-run single to right, scoring Braud and Hunt. With runners at second and first, Sewell walked on four pitches to load the bases. Davis was able to pick up the first out when Danae Hays flied out to right on a 3-0 pitch.
Pinch-hitter Leona Lafaele made it a 6-0 game when she singled back up the middle, scoring Traina and Spencer. Andrea Hawkins followed with an infield single down the first base line to load the bases for the third time in the inning. McCleney then took a 2-2 pitch to center, scoring Sewell and Lafaele to give Alabama an 8-0 lead. Davis was then pulled for Howard in the circle.
Howard walked the first batter she faced, Braud, to load the bases. Hunt gave Alabama a 10-0 lead when her single up the middle scored Hawkins and McCleney. Braud, who took third on the play, scored two pitches later on a wild pitch to make it 11-0. After a walk to Traina, Harper relieved Howard in the circle with runners at second and first and one out.
Spencer laced a single to left to score Hunt and, on the play, Baylee Stephens over ran the ball in left for an error, allowing pinch-runner Jordan Patterson to score, making it a 13-0 game. Harper would retire the next two hitters to end the inning.
Auburn got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. Caitlin Schultze walked with one out and took third on a double to right by Baylee Stephens. A ground out by Maris Medina brought Schultze home, making it 13-1.