Auburn Softball Defeats Mercer At Tiger Invitational
February 7, 2003
Jodie Van Ooyen
Auburn, Ala.- Auburn opened its 2003 home schedule Friday against the Mercer Bears in the third game of the day at the Tiger Invitational. In a wild game, the Tigers won 9-2 to improve to 3-5 on the season.
Auburn got on the board first with two runs in the top of the first as Bears pitcher Stephanee Finger hit two batters in the inning, starting with Jodie Van Ooyen. Sara Dean then reached first on a fielder's choice and moved to second when Paige Jones was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved up on a passed ball and were driven in by a single by Martha Phillips.
The Tigers increased their lead to 3-0 in the top of the second as Finger opened the inning by hitting Ashley Griffin. Griffin then stole second and advanced to third on a ground out by Deni Zeigler. After Finger hit her fourth batter in Anne Norton, Finger was relieved by Chris Mattice. Griffin scored as Robin Martin reached on an error by Crystal Pardue.
Mercer answered with two runs in the bottom of the second on RBI singles by Pardue and Jennifer Dolan, but Auburn extended its lead with four runs in the fourth. Griffin opened the inning with a single to third and advanced to third on a throwing error as Zeigler reached on the play. Tyanne Fries pinch ran for Zeigler and stole second. After Norton grounded out, Robin Martin reached on fielder's choice sacrifice bunt, scoring Griffin and moving Fries to third. Auburn then executed a double steal, scoring Fries and advancing Martin to second. Martin was later called out on runner's interference on a ball hit by Shannon Anderson to the shortstop. Anderson reached on the play, stole second and was brought home by single by Van Ooyen, which the left fielder mishandled allowing Van Ooyen to move to second. Dean reached on another error by the Mercer defense and Van Ooyen moved to third. The Tigers then pulled off another double steal to bring home Van Ooyen and give the Tigers a 7-2 lead.
Auburn added two more runs, one each in the sixth and seventh for the final margin of 9-2. Jenny Diaz pitched the complete game to earn the win giving up two earned runs on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Diaz improved to 3-1 on the season.
Missouri opened the tournament with a 4-2 win in eight innings over Mercer. Missouri then earned a 7-0 shut out over UT-Chattanooga.