Auburn Softball Takes Split With No. 13 South Carolina
March 29, 2003
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn and South Carolina met in a Saturday doubleheader at Jane B. Moore Field and the Tigers earned a split with the 13th-ranked Gamecocks, falling in game one, 12-1 in five innings, but recovering to win game two, 2-1 in eight innings. With the split, Auburn's record stays even at 19-19 overall, 7-7 in the SEC.
In game two, Auburn pitcher Janet Spivey and South Carolina pitchers Melanie Henkes and Aleca Johnson took a scoreless pitcher's duel into the bottom of the sixth when the Tigers got on the board. Ashley Griffin led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Shannon Anderson, and to third when Sara Dean reached on a fielder's choice. Griffin then scored the lead run on a wild pitch by Johnson.
However, South Carolina was able to answer in the top of the seventh as Amber Curtis hit a two-out double to right center that scored Kim Evans from first after she reached on a fielder's choice.
In the eighth, Danielle Quinones led off with a double, but Shannon Anderson preserved the tie by throwing her out at home when Meghan Cornett singled, setting the stage for a dramatic bottom half of the inning. It was Griffin again getting things going by leading off the inning with a double to right center. Anderson once again moved her to third on a sacrifice bunt. Sara Dean brought home Griffin and the win with a shot to right center for a single and her 14th RBI of the season.
Kristen Keyes had relieved Spivey in the eighth following the single by Cornett and picked up her fifth win of the year by allowing no runs on one hit and two walks. Spivey pitched seven innings allowing just the one run on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts.
"It was a good win for us, especially after that first game," said head coach Tina Deese. "Janet (Spivey) did a wonderful job on the mound, keeping it close. She got herself out of a couple of jams, and she just did a great job. She kept it tight, so we could let our offense work. It was a great situation. Ashley (Griffin) had come in and scored the first run, and I just felt really good about having Ashley at third with Sara Dean at the plate. I've seen it work before and felt good about it and (Dean) came through like a champ."
In game one, Keyes started, but had a rough outing, allowing nine runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 3.2 innings. It was also a rough game in the field for the Tigers as they committed four errors that led to five of South Carolina's 12 runs being unearned. The 12 runs by USC were the most allowed by Auburn pitching in a game this season.
Kasey Angulo got the Tigers on the board first with a one-out solo home run to left center. It was Angulo's first home run of the season and her ninth RBI.
The Gamecocks responded in the top or the third with five runs on the strength of five hits and two Auburn errors. Debralee Troesh knocked in two runs with a double down the left field line, while Kim Evans and Amber Curtis each had RBI singles for a 5-1 lead.
South Carolina matched its third inning with five more runs in the fourth. Evans led off the inning by being hit by a pitch and was moved to third on two sacrifice bunts before Troesh singled for her third RBI of the game. That was followed by a walk to Danielle Quinones and an RBI double by Ashley Smith before Keyes was relieved by Jenny Diaz, who surrendered a three-run home run to Meghan Cornett, and the Tiger trailed 10-1. USC added two more runs in the fifth, both driven in by Troesh, for the final margin, as Diaz finished allowing three runs on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts in 1.1 innings.
Auburn and South Carolina complete their three-game series with a single game tomorrow at noon.