March 18, 2008
Auburn, Ala. -
Auburn catcher Tatiana Fernandez went 5-for-6 with six RBI, two home runs and two doubles to lead the Tigers' softball team to a sweep of the Arkansas Razorbacks Tuesday night. The Tigers won 9-6 and 5-3 to improve to 27-4 overall and 7-1 in the Southeastern conference.
The Razorbacks fell to 21-11 overall and 1-7 in the SEC with two losses.
"These were two huge wins for our team," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We swung the bats really well. Tat (Fernandez) had a tremendous night. I'm really proud of her effort and the effort of our whole team."
In game one, Brittany Day earned the win to improve to 8-1. Day allowed four runs, all earned, on four hits in 3.0 IP. Anna Thompson, the third Auburn pitcher of the day, recorded the final four outs to earn her fourth save of the season.
Katy Henry took the loss for Arkansas to fall to 10-5. Henry allowed eight runs, six earned, on eight hits in 1.2 innings of work.
The Razorbacks got on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the first inning. Kayla Johnson walked and moved to second when Miranda Dixon also walked. After a fly ball out moved Johnson to third, Whitney Cloer brought her home with single up the middle with a single.
The lead did not last long for the Razorbacks, however. Brittany Scott reached on a throwing error by the shortstop and, after a sacrifice bunt moved her to third, she came in to score on a single to center by Taryn Gray.
The Tigers did not stop there as Tatiana Fernandez doubled deep to centerfield to score Gray and give Auburn a 2-1 lead. The lead moved to 3-1 when Starr Dorsey singled just off the second baseman's glove and into right field to score Fernandez.
Auburn pushed the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the second inning. Jorja Bell
singled and was pinch-run for by Krista Klein
. With two outs, Scott doubled to right to score Klein and give the Tigers a three run lead. Still with two outs, Myesha Finney
fouled off eight pitches before lacing a single to right that plated Scott and gave the Tigers a 5-1 advantage.
Still in the second, the Tigers continued the outburst when Fernandez blasted a three-run shot over the wall in left that gave Auburn an 8-1 lead. It was Fernandez's third home run of the season and 17th of her career.
The Razorbacks cut into the deficit in the third inning. With Johnson aboard, Miranda Dixon hit a home run over the wall in center to make it an 8-3 game.
Both teams plated a run in the fourth inning. After the Razorbacks made it an 8-4 game on fielding error, the Tigers pushed the lead back to five at 9-4 when Gray singled home Scott.
The Razorbacks continued to cut into the Auburn lead, this time Johnson hit a two-run home run that made it a 9-6 game.
Following Johnson's homer, Thompson was brought in to close the door on any rally. Thompson threw the final 1.1 innings, striking out three and not allowing a hit to record her fourth save of the season.
In game two, Fernandez went 3-for-3 with three RBI, a home run and double as the Tigers completed the sweep with a 5-3 victory. Anna Thompson threw a complete game to move to 9-3 on the season. Thompson allowed three runs, all earned, on six hits and seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work.
The Razorbacks plated the first runs of the game, this time taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on Samantha Buckner's two-run home run to left.
Auburn got on the board in the bottom of the second inning. With Megan Mitchell pinch-running for Fernandez (single), Starr Dorsey hit a fly ball that bounced off the top of the wall in center and back into play. Mitchell scored to make it 2-1 game while Dorsey slid into third with a triple.
Jorja Bell followed with a sacrifice fly to left that scored Dorsey and evened the game at 2-2.
The Razorbacks regained the lead in the third when Miranda Dixon doubled home Teighynne Hulsey to give Arkansas a 3-2 lead.
Once again the Arkansas lead was short lived. After Taryn Gray reached on a fielder's choice, Fernandez doubled off the wall in right to push Gray across and tie the game at 3-3.
The Tigers took their first lead of the game in the fourth. Dorsey doubled and moved to third on Bell's single. Krista Clyde then brought Dorsey in with a single up the middle to give the Tigers s 4-3 lead.
Fernandez continued to swing the hot bat for the Tigers, this time ripping a solo home run over the wall in left to lead off the fifth inning. It was Fernandez's second home run of the day and pushed the Auburn lead to 5-3.
Thompson would set the Razorbacks down in order to preserve the series win for the Tigers.
Auburn next travels to Baton Rouge to take on LSU in a three-game series beginning Friday. Game one is slated for a 1 p.m. start.