No. 20 Tigers Split Doubleheader With Kentucky
Box Score | Audio
April 30, 2005
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The 20th-ranked Auburn softball team took the second end of a doubleheader, 8-0, over Kentucky at the UK Softball Complex on Saturday. It gave the Tigers a split on the day after falling to the Wildcats, 5-2, in game one.
The Tigers clubbed two home runs in game two to bounce back from the game one loss with the eight-run, five-inning mercy rule win. Auburn is now the second most-prolific home run hitting team in Southeastern Conference history with 63 this season. That trails only the 1998 Alabama team, which hit 73.
Sara Ghezzi led the offensive attack with a career-high four runs batted in on the strength of a three-run home run in the third inning. Auburn, as a team, finished with 12 hits, its most since finishing with 12 in a 10-2 victory over Mississippi State on April 2.
With the Tigers (46-14 overall, 20-8 SEC) already up, 2-0, in the first inning, Paige Jones took a pitch from starter Amy Kendall and hit it over the center field fence for her 12th round-tripper of the season. It marked Jones’ third home run in five games this week and sixth in conference play this season.
Ghezzi continued Auburn’s hot hitting with her fourth home run of the season in the third. Jones and Sara Dean each hit singles to start off the inning, which led way to Ghezzi’s home run over the left center field fence off Kentucky reliever Kristi Warneke.
Holly Currie improved to 21-8 with the victory. She threw five innings, allowing no runs while striking out six. The shutout marked her seventh of the season and fourth of SEC play.
Jones led the Tigers with three hits while Ashley Griffin finished 2-for-3 with a double in the fourth inning. Kristina McCain also had two hits in the victory.
The Tigers rapped out eight hits against two Kentucky (20-37, 4-21) pitchers but left 10 runners on base in the first game as the Wildcats took a 5-2 decision. Samantha Allen threw four innings to improve to 12-14 on the season and Kendall finished the game with her first save of the season after working three scoreless innings.
McCain pulled the Tigers to within one, 3-2, in the fourth with her sixth home run of the season. The shot, a solo blast, hit the light standard in right center and constituted Auburn’s 61st home run of the season.
But Auburn couldn’t put another run across the board. Katie Campbell hit a two-run home run off the scoreboard in right field in the sixth to seal the three-run victory, snapping Auburn’s seven-game win streak. The Wildcats opened the game’s scoring with a solo run in the first then put two more across the plate in the bottom half of the third.
McCain, Dean and Jones all finished 2-for-4 in game one. Beth DiPietro took the loss, falling to 22-6 on the season. She struck out seven in six innings.
The Tigers will finish out the regular season with the series finale Sunday against Kentucky at 12 p.m. CT. Catch the game live on the Internet at www.auburntigers.com or in the Auburn area on WANI-AM (1400).
TIGER NOTES: It marked the second time this season the Tigers and Wildcats faced off ... The teams played a single game at the Diamond Fun & Sun Classic on Feb. 5 in Miami ... Auburn won, 9-1, in five innings ... The first game loss Saturday snapped a nine-game win streak against Kentucky for Auburn ... Sara Dean effectively equalized Kentucky’s threat in the first inning of game one ... The senior catcher caught Amber Janneck on a pickoff, then, in the next at bat, threw out Jessica Nance trying to steal second ... Dean also picked off a runner at third in the top half of the third in the second game, giving her eight on the season ... Holly Currie kept Kentucky down in the exact same shape in the first two innings of the second game ... She struck out the first two batters of the inning, then allowed a hit and finished off the frame with a strikeout.