Auburn Softball Rallies For 4-1 Win Over Mississippi State
May 5, 2012
Auburn, Ala. - Seniors Elizabeth Eisterhold, Lauren Guzman and Amber Harrison each drove in a run to lead the Auburn softball team to a 4-1 win over Mississippi State Saturday afternoon on Senior Day.
Auburn improved to 32-20 overall and 11-16 in the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi State dropped to 33-20 overall and 12-15 in the SEC. The winner of Sunday's series finale will be the seventh seed in next week's SEC Tournament, while the loser will go in as the eighth seed. Sunday's game starts at 1 p.m. CT.
"I'm very happy that our seniors got a win and that they came up with big hits on their day," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "Lauren (Schmalz) did a great job against their hitters, keeping them to just two hits. Our defense turned a couple of double-plays, and that was certainly nice to see. Hopefully we can carry this into tomorrow's game and go into the tournament with some momentum."
Lauren Schmalz improved to 9-8 with the complete-game performance. Schmalz allowed one run, earned, on two hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
Lindsey Dunlap took the loss in relief to fall to 2-3. Dunlap allowed two runs, both earned, on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts in two innings of work. Kylie Vry allowed two runs, both earned, on three hits with no walks and one strikeout in three innings of relief work.
Mississippi State took the lead in the top of the fourth, scoring once. Brittany Bell was hit by a pitch to open the inning and took second when Jessica Cooley dropped a bunt. Schmalz fielded the bunt and fired to second, but the throw was late. After a fly out for the first out of the inning, Sam Lenahan hit a ground ball to Lauren Guzman at shortstop. Guzman attempted to tag Bell, but was ruled to have missed, loading the bases. Heidi Shape followed with a ground out to second that easily scored Bell for a 1-0 Mississippi State lead.
Auburn rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Guzman led off with a triple to the wall in center. Eisterhold followed, drawing a four-pitch walk, and was lifted for pinch-runner Kristyn Richards. Caitlin Jordan loaded the bases when she took a ball in the dirt on a 3-2 count for a walk. That chased Dunlap from the game for Vry. On a 2-2 pitch, Vry forced Caitlin Schultze into a 6-4-3 ground ball double play, which scored Guzman from third to tie the game 1-1.
Amber Harrison followed with a bloop single into shallow center to score Richards and give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers extended their lead in the bottom of the fifth. Baylee Stephens was hit by a pitch to open the frame and took second on an infield single by Branndi Melero. After a sac bunt moved the runners to third and second with one out, Guzman hit a line drive single off the pitcher's glove to score Stephens and give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
With Melero at third and Guzman at first, Eisterhold chopped a ground out to second. Melero scored on the throw to first and Guzman kept running to take third. Melero's run made it a 4-1 game.
After allowing a run in the fourth, Schmalz settled into a groove and retired the side in order in the fifth and had a leadoff single in the sixth wiped out by an inning-ending ground ball double play.
In the top of the seventh, Schmalz fanned leadoff hitter Lenahan on a swinging third strike for the first out of the inning. On a 1-2 pitch, Schmalz forced Heidi Shape to ground out to Lathan at second base for the second out. Schmalz then ended the game when she fanned Courtney Vanlandingham on four pitches, the last a swinging third strike.
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