March 29, 2013
Starkville, Miss. -
The Auburn softball team swept a doubleheader with the Mississippi State Bulldogs Friday, taking game one 8-3 and using a seventh-inning rally to claim a 7-5 win in game two.
Auburn improved to 23-13 overall and 4-7 in the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi State dropped to 20-12 overall and 1-7 in the SEC. The Tigers and Bulldogs conclude the series at 1 p.m. Saturday.
"I can't say enough about the fight in this team," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We kept fight back and fighting back. Our pitchers gave up some runs early in both games, but they settled down and kept us in the game. These were total team efforts. Tomorrow is a big game. We need to eliminate the mistakes we made today and take advantage of every opportunity we get."
Lexi Davis started and earned the win to improve to 6-5. Davis allowed five runs, all earned, on 10 hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings. Marcy Harper earned her first save, allowing just one two-out walk in the bottom of the seventh.
Stephanie Becker took the loss in relief to fall to 6-5. Becker allowed three runs, all earned, on two hits with one walk. Allison Owen started and pitched six and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs, all earned, with 14 strikeouts and no walks.
Once again Mississippi State jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. After Sam Lenahan led off with an infield single, Logan Foulks ripped a one-out home run to right to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. It was Foulks' eighth home run of the season.
Foulks struck again for the Bulldogs, this time with a three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the second inning. It was Foulks' ninth home run of the season and it came with Loryn Nichols (single) and Lenahan (single) aboard, giving MSU a 5-0 lead.
made it a 5-1 game with a one-out RBI single in the top of the third inning. Tiffany Howard
singled with one out and then stole second base. Howard was able to advance to third on the steal as the throw from catcher Lenahan sailed into centerfield for an error. Estell followed with a sharp single back up the middle to plate Howard.
Emily Carosone followed Estell with an infield single. After a foul out for the second out of the inning, Branndi Melero drilled a triple to left that plated Estell and Carosone to make it a 5-3 game. Owen would get a strikeout to end the rally, however with Melero stranded at third.
After scoring a combined eight runs in the first three innings, the bats for both teams went silent. The Tigers stranded one runner in the fourth and two in the fifth before going down in order in the sixth. The Bulldogs left one runner on in the third, two in the fifth and two in the sixth.
The Tigers rallied In the top of the seventh. Howard led off with a slap single to third. Owen was then pulled for Becker, who got the first out when Estell grounded out to second. Howard took second on the play. Carosone followed with a single through the right side that moved Howard to third. Carosone took second on interference by the MSU first baseman Shelby Fisher who ran into her after rounding first base. Lathan the delivered the game-tying hit with a double down the line in right that scored both runners, making it 5-5. After a walk to Melero, Becker was pulled for Owen.
Schultze then delivered her first hit of the day, a two-run double to the wall in left field. It scored both runners to give the Tigers a 7-5 lead. Jade Rhodes was put in to run for Schultze and took third on a passed ball. Owen would recover and end the inning on her 14th strikeout without another run scoring.
In the bottom of the seventh, Harper retired the first two batters of the inning before issuing a walk to pinch-hitter Chrissie Rovtar. After Ashley Phillips was put in to run for Rovtar, Harper ended any chance of a rally by forcing Erin Nesbit to pop out to second to end the game.