May 20, 2006
TUCSON, Ariz. -
Sara Ghezzi hit a fifth-inning solo home run and Holly Currie a seventh-inning solo blast, but it wasn't enough as top-seeded Arizona advanced out of the Tucson Regional with a 4-2 victory over the 25th-ranked Auburn softball team Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium.
The loss ends the Tigers' season with Auburn finishing at 36-22 overall. Auburn went 2-2 at the regional, advancing to the championship game for the first time in team history. The Tigers lost to Ohio State 1-0 in 10 innings Thursday before defeating Marist, 14-0, in five and the Buckeyes, 4-0, on Friday.
"The loss takes nothing away from what this team accomplished at the regional," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We battled until the end and threatened late in the game. They came back from the loser's bracket and showed resiliency the entire weekend.
"Making the regional championship is an accomplishment. The team has something to be proud of."
Ghezzi broke up Arizona starter Taryne Mowatt's perfect game with a solo shot that narrowly cleared the left center field fence in the bottom half of the pitch. It marked Ghezzi's eighth home run of the season, tying her with Ashley Griffin and Tatiana Fernandez for the team lead.
Currie hit her seventh home run of the season two innings later, depositing an offering from Mowatt over the right center field fence. It was her sixth home run of the season and 27th of her career.
Currie and the Tigers kept Arizona off the scoreboard until the fourth when Chelsie Mesa connected on a 1-0 pitch that cleared the right center fence for a two-run shot. An inning later, the Wildcats added to the lead when Kristie Fox singled home Adrienne Acton from second. The next batter, Callista Belko grounded out to Heather Garrison at first, allowing Autumn Champion to score from third.
Auburn's starter, Currie, ended the season with a 19-14 record after taking the loss Saturday. She scattered six hits and three runs in four innings. Currie struck out two and walked one.
Beth DiPietro relieved Currie after one batter in the fifth and allowed two hits and a run over three innings. She struck out one.
Mowatt took the win, her first of the regional, to improve to 21-4 overall this season. She threw her 19th complete game of the season, limiting the Tigers to three hits, two of which were home runs.
The Wildcats (47-9 overall) advance to a super regional, pitting Arizona against the winner of the Baton Rouge Regional, May 26-28, at a site to be determined.
TIGER NOTES: Auburn wore its white uniforms for the game and is now 15-11 in them this season ... The Tigers ended the season with 36 wins, the seventh time in team history with 30 or more ... The game marked the last for Ashley Griffin, Amy Shaw, Robin Martin and Krista Barts in Auburn uniforms ... Griffin leaves as the team's all-time leader in consecutive starts ... She ended her career having started 221 straight.