May 6, 2011
Lexington, Ky. -
Elizabeth Eisterhold's two-out, two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning broke a tie game and lifted No. 23 Auburn softball to a 5-3 victory over No. 18 Kentucky Friday night.
Auburn improved to 37-15 overall and 14-12 in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky dropped to 35-12 overall and 13-8 in the SEC. The Tigers and Wildcats play game two of the series Saturday at noon CT.
"I'm very proud of the way we came back and won this game tonight," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "To get an early lead and have Kentucky come back and take the lead and us win it at the end is just a great effort by our team. Angel did a terrific job. She came in and threw strikes and attached the zone."
Angel Bunner earned the win in relief to improve to 14-6. Bunner went four and two-thirds innings, allowing just one hit with two walks and four strikeouts. Bunner retired the first nine hitters she faced and 11 of the first 12.
Jenee Loree started for Auburn and went three and one-thirds, allowing three runs, all earned, on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Rachel Riley took the loss in a complete-game effort for Kentucky to fall to 11-5. Riley allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Lauren Guzman gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With one out, Kelsey Cartwright doubled down the line in left field and was followed by Guzman who took the first pitch back up the middle for an RBI single.
Caitlin Stangl opened the Auburn the third inning with an infield single. Cartwright then drew a one-out walk to push Stangl to second base. Guzman followed with a chopper to third that Brittany Cervantes fielded clean, but threw wild over first for an error. Stangl scored on the play to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Kentucky put up three runs to take the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Kara Dill singled deep in the hole at short to open the frame and moved to second on a fly out to left. Cervantes then laced a single to center to score Dill and make it a 2-1 game. Rachel Riley followed Cervantes with a two-run homer over the wall in left to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead. It was Riley's eighth home run of the season and chased Loree for Bunner.
Auburn rallied in the top of the fifth. Stangl led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a ground out to third. Cartwright then delivered a single back up the middle to score Stangl and tie the game 3-3.
In the eighth, Riley retired the first two hitters of the inning before Kelley Smiley reached on an infield single. Eisterhold followed with a towering homer to left on a 0-2 pitch to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead. It was Eisterhold's fourth home run of the season, first in SEC play, and 22nd of her career.
In the bottom of the eight, pinch-hitter Ellen Weaver reached on a leadoff single and was lifted for Macy Allen to run at first. A five-pitch walk to Megan Yocke put the tying runs aboard with no outs. Bunner fanned Dill on a swinging third strike for the first out of the inning and forced Meagan Aull into a fielder's choice out, forcing Yocke out at second. Allen advanced to third on the play. Bunner then ended the game by forcing Cervantes to foul out to White behind third base.