Currie Tosses AU's First Perfect Game, Tigers Roll To Two Victories at Tiger Invite
Audio l Box Score
February 11, 2005
AUBURN -- In the 502nd game in the history of Auburn softball, sophomore Holly Currie did something no other Tiger has been able to accomplish.
She became the first pitcher in the Auburn's nine-year history to throw a perfect game Friday as the Tigers defeated the College of Charleston, 9-0, at Jane B. Moore Field in the team's first game of the Tiger Invitational.
Auburn (6-2) followed that up with an 8-0, five inning victory against Marshall.
Currie struck out a career-high 13 batters in six innings of work, but because Auburn was up by more than eight runs after the minimum five innings, the game was halted. The Tiger offense, meanwhile, backed her up with a nine-hit effort for the victory.
"It was amazing," Currie said. "I didn't have any clue that it had never been done, and I'm pretty happy with the outcome. It never went through my mind during the game, really. I just focused on one pitch at a time."
Auburn's Kristen Keyes was the last Tiger to come close to a perfect game, going 10 innings in a 1-0 victory over Georgia Tech on April 23, 2003. But Keyes hit a batter in the third inning, negating the possible perfect game.
"You can't even put into words what kind of a day Holly had,"
Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "The game's box score speaks for itself. A perfect game is an incredible feat. It's real special for Holly to accomplish something like that.
"It only happens so often for a reason. We've had a number of incredible pitching performances in nine seasons and this is definitely one of them."
The feat is the second major one in three days for the Pisgah, Ala., native. On Wednesday, she set a single-game Southeastern Conference record and was one off tying an NCAA mark with 10 runs batted in against Alabama State.
Paige Jones went 4-for-4 in the win, belting a three-run home run in the Tigers' five-run sixth. Jones led the Tigers with three RBI, while four other Tigers drove in one run apiece.
Auburn led 4-0, then exploded with five runs on three hits in the sixth. Robin Martin, starting at third base, stole second and third after singling to left field, and was later driven in when Lolani Alvarez flew out to center. A batter later, Sara Dean drove in Lauren Walton, which led to Jones' three-run home run two batters later.
Auburn shut out the Thundering Herd, 8-0, in the team's second game of the day, holding Marshall (5-2) to three runs. The Tigers, for the second game in a row, went up by eight after five, halting the game.
The Tigers took advantage of a four-run, two hit, three-error fourth inning. Currie started off the inning by reaching on an error. The Tigers then, with Brittany Scott pinch running for Currie, scored two batters later when Sara Ghezzi singled to center. Four batters later, with the bases loaded, Lolani Alvarez reached on a throwing error, scoring Jones, Ghezzi and Amy Shaw. Alvarez advanced to third on the play when the throw from the outfield was errant, but she was stranded.
Auburn opened up the scoreboard with a solo run in the third, when, on a double steal, Alvarez crossed the plate barely ahead of the throw from second base. Dean took second, but was left on base.
"There were just two total efforts from the team today," Deese said. "I'm proud of the way they stayed focused after Holly's perfect game. Now, we have to make sure to get ready for Northwestern State and then bracket play on Saturday."
Auburn takes on Northwestern State Saturday at 12:30 p.m. CT in the second game of the day at the Tiger Invitational. Bracket play begins immediately after, with the No. 1 and 4 seeds playing at 3 p.m. All games are held at Jane B. Moore Field. Admission is free. Catch the action live by tuning into WANI-AM (1400) or on the Internet at www.auburntigers.com.
TIGER NOTES: Holly Currie struck out the side in the first and fifth innings in her perfect game ... Paige Jones stole her first career base in the fifth inning of the first game ... The Tigers, as a team, stole six bases against the College of Charleston, two off the team's single-game record set against Alabama A&M on February 14, 1999 ... Sara Dean started her 182nd and 183rd career games, respectively, putting her into seventh-place all-time at Auburn ... She surpassed Jen Kraemer, who started 182 from 1999-01 ... Auburn wore white uniforms in both games ... The Tigers are now 3-1 when wearing white uniforms ... Northwestern State, headed by former Auburn assistant coach Mike Perniciaro, defeated College of Charleston, 3-0, in the first game of the Tiger Invitational ... Marshall took the second game of the tournament, 6-4, over Northwestern State ... The Thundering Herd scored all of its runs in the seventh to secure the victory ... Marshall and the College of Charleston open the second day of the tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday ... After the Tigers and Northwestern State play at 12:30 p.m., the tournament's No. 1 seed takes on No. 4 at 3 p.m. with No. 2 facing No. 3 at 5:30 p.m. ... All games are at Jane B. Moore Field on the Auburn campus ... Catch the action by clicking on the live stats link at www.auburntigers.com.