Auburn Softball Beats Furman Twice to Advance to Tiger Invitational Championship
February 14, 2004
AUBURN - The Auburn softball team downed Furman twice, 9-1 and 3-1, to move to 4-0 in the Tiger Invitational and advance to Sunday's championship game against Evansville.
The Tigers improved to 10-2 on the season and are on the verge of winning their third consecutive Tiger Invitational.
"It's always nice when you are able to play well at home and build a good home-field advantage," said Auburn coach Tina Deese. "We have one of the best facilities in the country and our team is making it even better by playing so well here."
In the first game, the Tigers scored five first-inning runs and added two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to end the game via the eight-run rule.
Ashley Griffin continued her assault on opposing pitchers this weekend by going three for four with two RBIs and two runs scored in the game. Her RBI single in the fifth ended the game. She also had a pair of stolen bases.
Holly Currie picked up her third win of the season by pitching all five innings and striking out nine. She had her scoreless inning streak snapped at 19 2/3 when Jessica Matthews doubled home Joni Lockridge with two outs in the fourth.
In the second game, which was the first of bracket play, Auburn scored twice in the first inning and held off a Lady Paladins rally late.
Auburn got started in the first on Martha Phillips two-run double that was a foot short of clearing the fence in left-centerfield. The blast scored Kristina McCain and Sara Dean.
"I've been off the past couple of games," said Phillips. "But coach told me to relax and just do my job and I did. It definitely felt good."
Lauren Walton scored for the Tigers in the fifth. She reached on a bunt single and stole second before McCain doubled down the left field line to bring her home.
Kristen Keyes carried a perfect game into the seventh before allowing a walk and an infield single. La Kerah Barr scored on the hit by Joni Lockridge after stealing both second and third.
Keyes earned the win to move to 4-2 on the year.
"Kristen had a great performance tonight," said Deese. "She was well rested and she was hitting her spots all night. She moved the ball around and threw all her pitches with confidence."
Auburn will meet Evansville on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the tournament final. Austin Peay and Furman will face off in the consolation game, which begins at 11 a.m.