April 6, 2013
Auburn, Ala. - Auburn pitchers Lexi Davis and Marcy Harper combined to hold Ole Miss to one run on four hits as the Tigers defeated the Rebels 2-1 in softball action Saturday night at Jane B. Moore Field.
The victory gave the Tigers a series win and improved their record to 25-14 overall and 6-8 in the Southeastern Conference. Ole Miss fell to 19-23 overall and 1-13 in the SEC. The teams conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m.
"I'm really proud of the job Lexi and Marcy did tonight against their hitters," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "They only gave up one walk and that is a positive step for them. Offensively, we were able to do just enough against them. Morgan and Branndi each came through with big hits for us."
Lexi Davis started and improved to 7-5 after allowing one run, earned, on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts in five and one-third innings. Marcy Harper notched her second save of the season, going the last one and two-thirds innings without allowing a hit or walk. Harper fanned three.
Erinn Jayjohn took the loss to fall to 2-1. Jayjohn allowed two runs, both earned, on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in six innings of work.
The Rebels mounted a scoring threat in the top of the third inning. Melina Preciado led off with a single and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Marina Parra. RT Cantillo followed with a ground ball that third baseman Maris Medina failed to field for an error, putting runners at second and first with one out. Davis, however, recovered and retired the next two batters to end the inning without a run scoring.
Auburn grabbed the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Morgan Estell gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with an RBI double. Tiffany Howard started the rally with a one-out triple to center. Estell followed with a double to the gap in left-center on a 2-2 pitch. Branndi Melero followed with a single to left on a 1-0 pitch that easily scored Estell, giving Auburn a 2-0 edge.
After retiring eight straight, Davis issued a two-out walk to Parra in the top of the fifth inning. That would be all the Rebels would muster, though, as Davis forced Cantillo to pop up to Emily Carosone at shortstop to end the inning.
Ole Miss rallied in the top of the sixth. Brittany Broome reached on an infield single up the middle to open the inning. After a strikeout, Broome swiped second base to move into scoring position. A wild pitch from Davis moved Broome to third. Londen Ladner made it a 2-1 game with a single down the right field line after fouling off three pitches on a 2-2 count. That chased Davis and brought Harper in to pitch for the Tigers. Harper fanned Jayjohn on a swinging strike three for the second out of the inning. After falling behind 3-1, Harper then threw two consecutive strikes to Haley Culley to end the rally with the Tigers leading 2-1.
In the top of the seventh, Bri Payne led off and popped up to Medina at third base for the first out of the inning. Harper then registered the second out when she forced Natalie Nimmo to foul out to Kilpatrick behind the plate on a 2-2 pitch. Harper sealed the victory with a strikeout of Parra on just four pitches to give the Tigers the series win.