Auburn Softball Has Offensive Outburst, Dominates Kentucky, 9-1
February 5, 2005
MIAMI -- The Auburn offense exploded in the Tigers’ first game Saturday at the Diamond Fun & Sun Classic, putting forth a 12-hit effort in a 9-1 victory over Kentucky at the University Park Softball Field.
The Tigers scored three runs each in the second and fourth innings, two more in the fifth and a solo run in the first to force the eight-run rule against the Wildcats. The win is Auburn’s ninth straight over their Southeastern Conference foe. The teams will meet again in the final regular season series of the season, April 30-May 1 in Lexington.
“This was an outstanding offense effort today,” Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. “Beth DiPietro did a great job from the circle, limiting the Kentucky offense. It was a very good all-around victory against a team we’ll see later this season.”
DiPietro held Kentucky to two hits and an unearned run in four innings of work. She struck out four and walked none for her first win of the season.
Sara Dean led the Tigers from the batter’s box, hitting her first home run of the season in a 3-for-3 effort. She drove in four runs to pace the Tigers.
Lolani Alvarez also had three hits for Auburn, driving in one, while Kristina McCain continued her hot streak at the tournament with a 2-for-4 effort. She drove in one run against Kentucky and is 4-for-11 through her first three games.
“Sara was due after hitting a couple hard balls on Friday,” Deese said. “Lolani and Kristina both had solid efforts at the plate, as did the entire offense.”
Dean, after starting off the tournament 1-for-7, took a pitch from Kentucky starter Meghan Cooper in the first inning over the right center field fence, tying the game at one.
The Tigers pushed three runners across the plate in the second inning, stretching the lead to 4-1. Alvarez started the scoring with a double, scoring Amy Shaw from first. Three batters later, with McCain on third and Lauren Walton on second, Dean drove in two more runs with a single to left.
Auburn matched its second inning output in the fourth. McCain reached on an error by shortstop Amber Janneck, scoring Alvarez, who had started off the inning with a single. Two batters later, Dean drove in her fourth run of the game, scoring McCain, who had reached second via a stolen base and taken third on a groundout by Starr Dorsey. Four batters later, Sara Ghezzi singled to left scoring Dean.
Auburn ended its offensive outburst in the fifth when Alvarez singled, then was driven home by Nicole Russo when the left fielder, Ashley Fertic, misplayed the ball after the single. McCain, who had singled three batters later, also scored on the play, enacting the eight-run rule.
Kentucky opened the scoring in the first inning when Amber Janneck singled home Jessica Nance. Janneck attempted to steal second with the next batter, Megan Glenn, at the plate, but was gunned down by Dean.
Auburn continues play Saturday against tournament host Florida International at 6 p.m. CT. Follow the Tigers live on the Internet at www.auburntigers.com by clicking on the live stats link on the right side of the page.
TIGER NOTES: The Tigers were designated as the home team prior to the game ... It was determined by coin flip, as were all games during the tournament’s first two days ... Auburn served as the visiting team against South Florida and Illinois State ... Dean’s home run marked the first time this season the Tigers earned a base runner in the first inning ... The home run was Dean’s 16th for her career, tying her with Deni Zeigler (2000-03) for fourth all-time with the Tigers ... Dean moved into eighth-place all-time at Auburn with 184 games played ... The senior passed Jen Kraemer, who played in 183 from 1999-2001 ... Dean also started her 151st straight game ... Ashley Griffin, meanwhile, started her 98th straight ... Nicole Russo’s fifth-inning single marked her first career hit ... Russo red shirted last season.