Auburn Sweeps Kentucky To Clinch Second In West



Auburn Sweeps Kentucky To Clinch Second In West

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May 1, 2004

 Action - MPhillips_050104

 Martha Phillips

AUBURN - Martha Phillips went 3-for-4, including a solo home run in game two, to lead No. 15 Auburn to a pair of victories, 6-1 and 1-0, over Kentucky on Saturday afternoon at Jane B. Moore Field.

The Tigers improved to 37-13 overall and 17-10 in the Southeastern Conference. With the wins, Auburn clinched a second-place finish in the SEC Western Division and a No. 4 seed in SEC Tournament. Auburn is one victory shy of tying the school record for wins in a season set in 2002. Kentucky fell to 25-30-1 overall and 6-23 in the league.

Phillips provided all the runs in game two as she launched Gretchen Prugh's first pitch of the sixth inning over the left field wall. Prugh gave up five hits and fell to 5-10 on the year.

Holly Currie started for Auburn and worked 5 1/3 innings but received a no decision. She allowed just two hits and walked two while striking out a pair. Kristen Keyes earned the win, her 23rd of the year, by striking out four of the five batters she faced.

Lolani Alvarez had a pair of hits and was robbed of a third on a controversial call at first base in the sixth inning that would have plated another Tiger run.

Prior to the sixth, Auburn could not get a runner past second base.

Despite the outstanding performance, Currie did run into some trouble in the second as Kentucky loaded the bases with nobody out. A walk, single and hit batsman gave the Wildcats a viable scoring threat. However, Currie got a fly ball to right and Ashley Fertic wisely decided not to test Sara Ghezzi's arm. Elie Anderson then popped up and Rachel Friberg grounded to third to end the threat.

In game one, Kristina McCain singled and before scoring on a three-base error by third baseman Meghan Cooper to get the Tigers on the board in the first. It was the 17th time this year Auburn has scored in the opening frame.

The Tigers broke the game open in the third with a four-run outburst. Sara Dean provided the big blow with a two-run double that was two feet shy of clearing the wall in left field. Sara Ghezzi had an RBI single and Alvarez drove in one on a fielder's choice.

Keyes made the lead stand up as she gave up just an unearned run on four hits. She fanned 11, the 12th time this year she has been in double-figures in strikeouts, to pick up her school-record 22nd win of the year.

Auburn and Kentucky meet in the series finale on Sunday at Noon. It will be Senior Day at Jane B. Moore Field and the Tigers will honor Keyes, Phillips, Lindsey Chitwood and Cami Fenn before the game.