May 7, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. -
The 21st-ranked Auburn softball team dropped its regular season finale Sunday, losing 6-5 to Ole Miss at Jane B. Moore Field.
The game's outcome, however, mattered little for the Tigers' seeding in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Auburn will be the sixth seed in the single-elimination tournament and will play third-seeded LSU, which is ranked 11th nationally.
Florida had taken both of its games from South Carolina Saturday, giving the Gators the fifth seed. Auburn knew prior to Sunday's game it would be the sixth seed and learned midway through the game against Ole Miss that LSU would be their opponent after the Bengal Tigers defeated Tennessee, 4-0.
The Auburn-LSU game will start at 7:30 p.m. EST., Thursday at the Georgia Softball Complex in Athens.
In Sunday's Auburn game, Amy Shaw went 2 for 3 and the Tigers rapped out eight hits but a three-run Ole Miss sixth gave the Rebels the 6-5 victory and series win over the Tigers.
Lisa Conchos doubled to right center to cap off Ole Miss' sixth, one that saw the Rebels post three hits and Auburn commit one error.
The teams both scored two runs in the first. Ole Miss catcher Michelle May singled, driving in Mary Jane Callahan and Rebecca McIntire.
The Tigers came back with two in the bottom half of the first when Tatiana Fernandez reached on a fielding error by Conchos at short, bringing in Kristina McCain from third. Holly Currie, the next batter of the inning for the Tigers, singled up the middle, scoring Ashley Griffin.
Auburn (34-19 overall, 15-15 SEC) took the lead for the final time in the fourth. Griffin singled to right, scoring Shaw, who had singled with one out. Two batters later, Fernandez drove in her 35th run of the season -- tying Mary Petrie (1998) for the most by an Auburn freshman -- with a single up the middle.
With Ole Miss (24-35, 10-20 SEC) up 6-4 after the Rebels' top half of the sixth, the Tigers scored a solo run on a single to left field by Sara Ghezzi
with two outs. However, Callahan got Fernandez to fly out to end the inning.
Callahan worked four innings in relief to improve to 11-17 this season. She struck out one, scattering six hits while allowing three runs. Dana Brill started for Ole Miss and worked three innings, allowing two runs and two hits.
Currie dropped to 18-11 this season after throwing her 17th complete game of the season. She struck out eight and allowed nine hits in seven innings.
Auburn and LSU will square off Thursday at 7:30 p.m. EST., at the Georgia Softball Complex. The Bengal Tigers took the season series from Auburn, 2-1, in Baton Rouge in early April. The game's winner will advance to a 3:30 p.m. contest Friday against the winner of the Arkansas (7th seed) and host Georgia (No. 2 seed) game that will be played at 5 p.m. Thursday.
TIGER NOTES: Auburn wore its white uniforms for the game and dropped to 15-9 in them this season ... Other matchups in the opening round of the SEC Tournament Thursday include Florida and Tennessee at 12 p.m. and Alabama-Ole Miss at 2:30 p.m. ... The berth into the SEC Tournament marks the seventh straight for the Tigers and eighth in 10 seasons ... The game against LSU will mark the third time Auburn opens against the Bengal Tigers in the SEC Tournament and the teams will play for the eighth time overall ... Auburn is 3-4 against LSU in the SEC Tournament.