May 17, 2008
College Station, Texas - Auburn pitchers Lauren Schmalz, Angel Bunner and Anna Thompson combined to hold Stephen F. Austin to only four hits as the Tigers eliminated the Lady Jacks 2-0 in the NCAA Softball Regional at College Station Saturday afternoon.
Auburn (38-21) will now play Louisiana Tech (36-28) at 5:15 p.m. Saturday in another elimination game. Should the Tigers win, they will play Texas A&M at noon in the regional championship game. The Aggies are undefeated and would need to lose twice.
All games can be heard locally in Auburn on WZMG AM 910 and on the internet at www.auburntigers.com. Live stats can be accessed on the web at www.aggieathletics.com.
Schmalz (8-3) earned the win in her first postseason start and went two and one-third innings, allowing three hits. Bunner gave up one hit in three and two-thirds innings of relief work. Thompson earned her fifth save of the season after pitching a perfect seventh inning.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the third inning. Myesha Finney was hit by a pitch and then stole second to move into scoring position. Tatiana Fernandez then delivered a two-out single up the middle to score Finney and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Jacks threatened in the bottom of the third. Monica Hirsch reached on a fielding error by shortstop Kyndall White and moved to second on Kendal Harper's single to right. That brought Bunner in to pitch for Schmalz.
Benet Higgs moved the runners to second and third with a sac bunt for the second out of the inning. Bunner was able to keep the Lady Jacks off the scoreboard when she got Jessica Tullos to fly out to right to end the inning with both runners stranded.
Auburn increased its lead to 2-0 with a solo home run to left off the bat of Fernandez in the top of the fifth. It was Fernandez's seventh home run of the season and came on a 0-1 pitch.