April 9, 2011
Starkville, Miss. - Kelsey Cartwright's sacrifice fly scored Caitlin Stangl to break a tie game in the fourth inning as the 22nd-ranked Auburn softball team defeated Mississippi State 5-3 Saturday afternoon.
Auburn improved to 31-9 overall and 10-6 in the Southeastern Conference, while Mississippi State fell to 20-20 overall and 8-7 in the SEC. Auburn and Mississippi State conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
"Everybody was hitting for us today it seemed like," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "It's nice to put up 12 hits and see everyone contributing. Angle Bunner pitched a very good game for us, again. She mixed her pitches and was hitting her spots consistently. This was a good win after losing the first game. Tomorrow we need to carry over what we did today and get after it again."
Auburn had four players with at least two hits and four different players with one RBI in Saturday's win over the Bulldogs.
Angel Bunner improved to 11-3 with the victory. Bunner started and went six and one-third innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Lauren Schmalz recorded the final two outs of the game to earn her second save of the season.
Kylie Vry started and took the loss to fall to 8-9. Vry went four innings, allowing four runs, all earned, on nine hits with no walks and no strikeouts. Misty Flesher relieved Vry to start the fifth and went three innings, allowing one run, earned, on three hits with no walks and one strikeout.
The Tigers wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Amber Harrison singled home Morgan Estell in the top of the first inning. Estell opened the game with an infield single and moved to second on a sac bunt by Kelsey Cartwright. After a wild pitch moved Estell to third, Harrison followed with a bloop single to shallow left to score Estell and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Auburn increased its lead in the third inning with two runs crossing the plate. Cartwright reached on a leadoff single to third and moved to second when third baseman Chelsea Raines threw wildly to first on the throw. With one out, Lauren Guzman hit a chopper that rolled less than 10 feet from home plate. Guzman reached first on the single and with no one covering home, Cartwright motored home for a 2-0 lead.
Hilary Mavromat followed with single up the middle to move Guzman to second. A wild pitch moved Guzman to third and Mavromat to second. Kyndall White executed a squeeze bunt that plated Guzman for a 3-0 Auburn lead.
Mississippi State rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the third inning. Jessica Cooley led off with a single up the middle and Ali Bainbridge followed with an RBI triple to right to make it a 3-1 game. Following a walk to Shelby Fisher, Kaili Smith laced a single up the middle to score Bainbridge and cut the AU lead to one at 3-2. Still with no outs, Courtney Nesbit hit a roller to Guzman at short who, attempting to put out Jessica Offut who pinch-ran for Fisher, flipped wildly to third allowing Fisher to score and tie the game 3-3.
Smith moved to third on the play with Nesbit at first. After Lenahan popped up to Estell at first for the first out of the inning, Bunner got Heidi Shape to strike out swinging for the second out. Bunner then ended the MSU rally by forcing Raines to ground out to second base.
The Tigers struck right back in the top of the fourth. With one out, Caitlin Stangl reached on an infield single and moved to third on a double to left-center by Estell. Cartwright followed with a sac fly to left that scored Stangl to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead.
After two scoreless innings, the Tigers tacked on another run in the top of the seventh. Harrison led off with a double to center and moved to third on a sac bunt by Guzman. Mavromat followed with a sac fly to center to score Harrison and push the lead to 5-3 for Auburn.
In the bottom of the seventh, after recording the first out of the inning Bunner gave up a pair of singles to Bainbridge and Fisher to put runners at second and first, respectively. Schmalz relieved Bunner following Fisher's single and fanned Smith on a called third strike for the second out. Schmalz then sealed the victory for the Tigers by forcing Nesbit to foul out to Colton in left field.