Auburn's Rachael Walters, left, and Carlee Wallace celebrate game-ending strikeout in College World Series
By Charles Goldberg
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The historical significance can wait, said Rachael Walters. Auburn still has some work to do after winning its first-ever College World Series game Saturday.
Walters, pitching in relief, struck out five of the seven batters she faced to close out Auburn's first-ever College World Series victory, a 4-2 win over Tennessee in the first game of Saturday's schedule. The Tigers advanced to a 6 o'clock Saturday night game against UCLA. The winner of that one plays Florida at noon Sunday.
Auburn had already turned its attention to UCLA by the time the first game was done.
"I think it was more important for us as a team just to win, not so much for history. We came here to win the whole thing," Walters said.
Auburn scored all its runs in the third, then watched as Tennessee chipped away with a run in the fourth and then in the fifth. Walters came in then with the bases loaded and got shut down the rally.
"Rachael just attacked, and it was good to see," said Auburn coach Clint Myers.
"Overall, I thought we really played well. We're excited and will get ready for the next one."
Auburn jumped on the Vols early, scoring four runs in the third inning on Haley Fagan's RBI single, a two-run double by Carlee Wallace and an RBI double by Jade Rhodes.
Wallace's hit scored what proved to be the winning run.
"We left too many runners on base this season, especially at third base and not scored them, so I was just looking for a pitch out over the plate and do as much damage as I could," she said.
Auburn continued to build on its school-best record, now 55-10. Tennessee ended its season at 47-17, losing to Auburn in four of five meetings this season, including here at the World Series and in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
"This program is going to win," Myers said. "These ladies are setting the legacy for the future. They're setting it the right way."
The Tigers used Saturday's first game to bounce back from Thursday's opening loss to LSU in the double-elimination tournament.
"There's a lot of fight left in this team," Wallace said.
Keep checking AuburnTigers.com for the latest on Auburn at the College World Series, including tonight's game against UCLA.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine
Auburn's feeling good after a 4-2 win at the College World Series pic.twitter.com/UYStC9IYbh
-- Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) May 30, 2015