May 1, 2011
Auburn, Ala. -
Auburn pitcher Angel Bunner threw out Megan Wiggins at home plate to end the game and give the No. 25 Auburn softball team a 3-2 victory over No. 4 Georgia and claim the Tigers' first-ever series win over a top-five opponent.
Auburn improved to 36-15 overall and 13-12 in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia fell to 42-9 overall and 15-8 in the SEC. By winning the final two games of the three-game series, Auburn earned its first series win over the Bulldogs since 2004.
"I'm so extremely proud of the way this team hustled and fought this weekend," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "Our pitchers did a great job holding Georgia to just three runs in the last two games. Angel came in today and pitched very well. I can't recall an ending exactly like that. It was very exciting and just a great way to win a ball game."
Leading 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Bunner retired the first two batters of the inning on a ground out and foul out behind third base. Wiggins then launched a pitch that hit less than two feet from the top of the wall in right and fell to the ground. As Wiggins rounded second, Amber Harrison in right fired to Lauren Guzman on the cut.
Guzman threw to Kyndall White at third for the potential putout, but the ball skipped away and rolled into foul territory. Wiggins, who had slid into third, got up and raced home for the potential tying run. But, Bunner, who was backing up third, retrieved the ball and fired home to catcher Elizabeth Eisterhold who applied the tag on Wiggins for the final out.
Bunner improved to 13-6 after earning the win in relief. Bunner threw four shutout innings, scattering two hits and issuing just one walk and striking out one. Jenee Loree started and pitched three innings, allowing two runs, both earned, on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Alison Owen took the loss in relief to fall to 15-3. Owen allowed one run, earned, on two hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Morgan Montemayor started and pitched two and one-third innings allowing two runs, both earned, on three hits with a walk and a strikeout.
The Tigers took the lead after scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Tied 2-2, Kelsey Cartwright reached on a leadoff double to right-center. A sacrifice bunt by Caitlin Schultze moved Cartwright to third with one out. On a 2-2 pitch, Kelley Smiley hit a chopper over the head of third baseman Alisa Goler to score Cartwright and give the Tigers a one run lead.
Georgia wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, getting a two-out, two-run home run from Brianna Hesson in the first inning. It was Hesson's 13th home run of the year and it came with Goler (walk) aboard.
The Tigers answered in the bottom half of the first inning. Morgan Estell reached on a leadoff double and was followed by Guzman who was hit by a pitch. White popped into a double-play, forcing Guzman out at first. Cartwright then delivered a single off the wall in right to score Estell and make it a 2-1 game.
Auburn tied the game in the bottom of third inning. Estell was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to third on a single down the right field line by Guzman. White followed with a ground ball to Laura Trout at shortstop, who booted the ball allowing White to reach. Estell, running on contact, scored easily to tie the game 2-2.
Auburn will next travel to Lexington for a three-game series against No. 15 Kentucky beginning Friday, May 6.