No. 3 Florida Rallies For 3-2 Win Over Auburn Softball
April 13, 2012
Gainesville, Fla. - The Tigers left the tying run at third in the seventh inning as the third-ranked Florida Gators rallied and held on for a 3-2 win over the Auburn softball team Friday night.
Auburn's record dropped 26-16 overall and 5-12 in the Southeastern Conference. Florida's record improved to 36-5 overall and 16-2 in the SEC. The teams play game two of the series at noon CT Saturday.
"We had a chance to tie the game at the end but couldn't get a ball through," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "I'm really proud of our approach at the plate tonight, we showed some patience and took the ball to the opposite field. We didn't play perfectly by any stretch, but we need to build off the positives and take that into tomorrow's game."
Lauren Schmalz started and took the loss to fall to 7-7. Schmalz allowed three runs, all earned, on six hits with one walk and one strikeout in four innings. Angel Bunner relieved Schmalz in the fifth inning and pitched the final two innings allowing just a pair of hits, one walk and striking out two.
Hannah Rogers earned the complete-game win to improve to 21-3. Rogers allowed two runs, both earned, on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
The Tigers defense prevented a run from scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Enlsey Gammel led off the bottom of the second with a double to left. After a ground out moved Gammel to third, Kasey Fagan flied out to McKenzie Kilpatrick in right. Gammel tagged and raced home, but Kilpatrick fired a strike to catcher Elizabeth Eisterhold blocked the plate and applied the tag for the third out to end the inning.
The Gators took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Michelle Moultrie ripped a leadoff home run to left center. It was Moultrie's ninth home run of the season and it came on a 2-1 pitch.
Auburn rallied to take the lead in the top of the fourth when Caitlin Jordan blasted a leadoff home run over the scoreboard in left-center. It was Jordan's seventh home run of the season and first since hitting a two-run homer against No. 8 Georgia on March 18.
Still in the fourth, Branndi Melero and Caitlin Schultze each singled to put two on with one out. After a fly out, Baylee Stephens was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Brooke Lathan followed with a ground ball that shortstop Cheyenne Coyle fielded and raced to tag third. However, third baseman Sami Fagan was ruled to have obstructed Schultze going to the base and all runners were safe. Melero scored from third on the play to give Auburn a 2-1 lead.
The Gators tied the game in the bottom half of the fourth. With one out, Bailey Castro reached on a ground-rule double to center. Alyssa Bache was put in to run for Castro, and after a wild pitch moved her to third, Gammel laced a single to bring her home and tie the game 2-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Sami Fagan led off with a single which chased Schmalz from the game and brought in Bunner. After a wild pitch moved Fagan to second, Bunner walked Lauren Haeger. Kelsey Horton followed with a single to center that plated Fagan to give the Gators a 3-2 lead.
The Tigers put the leadoff batter on in the sixth when Schultze drew a walk. But, consecutive ground balls resulted in two fielder's choices and two outs. The Gators ended the inning when Lathan chopped back to Rogers.
In the seventh, Lauren Guzman led off and went ahead 3-0 before lining out on a 3-2 pitch to the second baseman for the first out of the inning. Rogers registered the second out when Hilary Mavromat grounded out to second on a 0-1 pitch.
Jordan followed with a towering fly ball to right that hit off the wall and rolled back into the field. Jordan raced to third, sliding in just ahead of the tag. With the tying run at third, Eisterhold grounded out to second base on a 1-0 pitch to end the game.
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