April 6, 2007
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Auburn softball team rapped out five hits against two Alabama pitchers but the Tigers could not overcome two home runs in a 5-3 loss to the third-ranked Crimson Tide in front of a record crowd of 1,958 at the Alabama Softball Complex in the second game of a doubleheader Friday night.
The loss came after Auburn dropped a 10-0, five-inning decision in the first game of a doubleheader.
Anna Thompson worked six innings in her 29th appearance and 16th start of the season. She allowed five runs and five hits while striking out nine. Thompson dropped to 10-11 this season.
"Anna threw well, but did make a few mistakes against a very good offensive club in Alabama," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We had chances for a few more runs but could not convert. We'll come back tomorrow and focus on taking a win in the final game of the series."
Down 3-0 after Alabama scored a solo run in the second and two in the third, the Tigers pulled to within one with one stroke of the bat by Myesha Finney in the fourth inning. She doubled over Alabama left fielder Mandy Burford's head to bring in Lauren Walton and Nicole Russo. Walton had left off the inning with a single while Russo was pinch running for Tatiana Fernandez, who walked after Walton.
Alabama, however, answered back in the fifth when Charlotte Morgan homered to center off Thompson, putting the Crimson Tide up, 4-2.
The Tigers (18-24 overall, 6-12 Southeastern Conference) chased Alabama starter Blair Potter in the sixth. Fernandez began the inning with her second career triple after lining a ball down the right field line that got past the Crimson Tide's Katie Johnson. Two batters later, and with Chrissy Owens on in relief, Sara Ghezzi found a hole in the left side of the infield to get Fernandez in from third. Owens, however, was able to get out of the inning unscathed from that point on.
Alabama (39-4, 14-4 SEC) iced the game in the sixth. Thompson was able to strike out Kellie Eubanks for the first out of the inning, but Ashley Holcombe hit a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence for her fourth home run of the season and a 5-3 Alabama lead.
Potter scattered three hits over five innings of work. She gave up all three Tiger runs, striking out seven while walking one en route to her 10th win of the season. Owens, meanwhile, picked up her first save of the season after working two innings.
The teams conclude the series with a single game Saturday that begins at 2 p.m. CT.
Tiger Notes: Lauren Walton batted in the No. 2 slot in the order for the first time since March 10 in the second game of a doubleheader at Kentucky ... The 1,958 in attendance to watch the doubleheader constituted a record crowd to watch an Auburn game, home or away ... The 1,958 announced crowd was the most ever to watch a game featuring two SEC clubs and the second-most featuring at least one SEC club ... The largest crowd ever to watch an SEC team was the 2,388 that showed up to watch Florida play a doubleheader against Stetson on Feb. 8, 1997 in the club's stadium opener.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, Contact Hank Hager at (334) 844-9800 April 6, 2007