Tigers Win First NCAA Regional Game, Advance To Rematch With Florida State
Box Score | Audio
May 21, 2005
Auburn -- Holly Currie hit her 17th home run of the season and Beth DiPietro retired 15 batters at one point as the second-seeded Tigers won their first-ever NCAA Regional game with an 11-2 victory Saturday over fourth-seeded Florida A&M at Jane B. Moore Field.
The victory moves the Tigers further ahead in the regional bracket, with Auburn slated to play Florida State Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Florida State defeated Auburn, 5-0, Friday to begin the NCAA Regional, and moved into the rematch with the Tigers after losing to Baylor, 9-5, early Saturday.
"I just felt like they played well," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We came out and stroked the ball. It was a great offensive effort. We want to carry the momentum from this game into tonight's game."
Currie tied Auburn's single-season record for home runs with a two-run shot in the sixth inning. Her 17th home run of the season tied current assistant coach Ashley Moore for the most in an Auburn single-season. Moore hit 17 in 2002.
"It's a real honor," Currie said. "Hopefully this is one of
many more to come for me."
DiPietro retired 15 batters from the first through sixth inning, striking out five along the way. Delia McMillan's walk in the seventh inning broke up DiPietro's streak from the circle. Florida A&M was able to post two runs in the sixth but it was too little, too late.
DiPietro, a sophomore, improved to 23-7 this season. The win was her first since April 23 against LSU at Jane B. Moore Field. She is 11-1 at home this season.
"Beth did a heck of a job from the circle today," Deese said.
"She battled and mixed up her pitches well."
The Tigers (50-17) put up a gap between themselves and the Lady Rattlers in the fourth inning. Auburn rapped out four hits in the inning, all singles. Ashley Griffin, Sara Dean and Paige Jones all had run-scoring singles as Auburn took a 6-0 lead.
The Tigers scored five runs in the sixth to take an 11-run lead.
Currie's two-run home run highlighted the offensive attack during the inning, which also included singles by Dean and Sara Ghezzi.
Coming into the game, Auburn had scored just four runs in five NCAA Regional games total.
Auburn manufactured its first run of the game in the second inning.
Paige Jones reached base after lacing a single to left field. Brittany Scott, pinch running for Jones, moved to third after Lolani Alvarez reached on a throwing error. Two batters later, Robin Martin laid down a perfect squeeze bunt, allowing Scott to score.
Danielle Brown started for Florida A&M (37-33) and fell to 17-11 on the season after allowing three hits and four runs in four innings.
Catch Auburn's game against Florida State live on the Internet at www.auburntigers.com. It can also be heard on WANI-AM (1400).
TIGER NOTES: The Tigers reached the 50-win plateau for the first time in school history ... It ties the single-season record with the 1995 and 1997 Auburn baseball teams for the most victories by any sport in school history ... Auburn and Florida A&M met for the second straight season ... The Tigers defeated the Lady Rattlers, 6-1, last season in Auburn's season-opener ... Prior to that, the teams had not met since 1998 ... Paige Jones singled in the second inning, her first hit since going 3-for-3 against Kentucky on May 1 ... Sara Dean stole her ninth base of the season in the third inning ... She has stolen 27 bases in four years with the Tigers ... She has never stolen more than one base in a game.
* First pitch was 3:13 p.m. CT.
* Auburn's record following the FAMU contest stands at 50-17. This is the first 50-win season in Auburn history. It ties the 1995 and 1997 baseball teams for most single-season wins by any sport at Auburn.
* The win over the Lady Rattlers was the first-ever victory for Auburn in NCAA postseason play. The Tigers had been 0-5 before knocking off FAMU.
* Auburn's five-run fourth and sixth innings were more productive than the Tigers' previous six NCAA postseason contests. AU had combined to score four runs in those six games, while the Tigers plated five in both the fourth and sixth innings alone against the Lady Rattlers. Auburn's 11 runs against the Lady Rattlers marks a new Auburn NCAA postseason record.
* The game vs. Florida A&M marked the fifth time this season that the Tigers have been the visiting team at Jane B. Moore Field. Auburn is 5-0 in those contests.
* Holly Currie's sixth inning home run was her 17th this season, tying current Auburn assistant coach and former AU standout Ashley Moore's 17 in 2002 for the single-season AU record. It was also the first-ever Auburn home run in NCAA postseason play.
* Paige Jones' second inning single was her first hit since May 1 vs. Kentucky. She was 3-for-3 in that contest against the Wildcats to complete a career-high six-game hit streak.
* Senior catcher Sara Dean batted in the second spot in the AU lineup for just the second time this season, while cleanup hitter Sara Ghezzi was fourth in the order for the second time this season. By the same token, the FAMU matchup marked the second time Lolani Alvarez batted sixth in the AU batting order.
* Dean now has 27 stolen bases (nine this season). She has never recorded multiple stolen bases in a single game.
* Robin Martin's RBI-bunt single in the second inning was her first hit since Feb. 27 against UAB at Stanford, Calif. She also had an RBI against the Blazers in that contest.
* Pitcher Beth DiPietro struck out four straight in the second and third innings. She struck out the final two batters of the second inning and first two of the third inning.
* DiPietro retired 15 straight batters after allowing a leadoff single in the first inning before allowing a walk to McMillan in the sixth. She had faced the minimum number of batters throughout the first 5 1/3 innings. The Riverview, Fla., native had a shutout through 5 2/3 innings. She improved to 11-1 at Jane B. Moore Field this season.
* Auburn is now 4-2 all-time against FAMU.
Florida A&M Notes
* This marks the ninth time FAMU has been eight-run ruled this season and the third time they have been mercy-ruled in six innings.
* FAMU has now given up double-digit runs in ten games this season. This is the fifth time this season that FAMU has lost by nine runs.
* This also marks the 12th time that the Lady Rattlers have committed four or more errors in a game in 2005.
* Junior Danielle Brown extended her hit-streak to eight games with a single in the bottom of the sixth.
* Center fielder Ashley Walker led-off the game with a single giving her a three-game hit streak.
* Sophomore Destiny Gordon made her first pitching appearance since FAMU faced Florida State on April 20.
* Florida A&M finished the 2005 season with a 37-33 record.
Head Coach Tina Deese
"I think that we played well. Obviously, we hit the ball well, which is what we were hoping for because we have been flat lately. We had a great offensive effort. Paige Jones got the ball rolling for us and (pitcher) Beth DiPietro did a great job getting on the batters."
On the decision to throw DiPietro...
"Beth throws well to left-handed batters and they have four in their line-up, so she was a natural choice for today. We are hoping to use this momentum on into tonight."
1B Paige Jones
On her first hit that got the offense started...
"We are a team that sticks close. If one of us starts hitting then the rest of us start up (offensively. It felt good to get us started today. Tonight against FSU, we are looking for redemption because we feel we didn't play our best against them yesterday."
DP Holly Currie
On her home run...
"I was 0-for today and I wanted to get the bat on the ball. And, that's what I did; put the bat on the ball."
Florida A&M Quotes
Head Coach Veronica Wiggins
"We didn't come with our A-game today. Last night we played well defensively but not offensively. Today we had neither. We have a young team and this is their first time to experience this level of play."
"Our pitching wasn't on today. Our number one and number two pitchers didn't hit their spots. And when your pitchers aren't on your defense realizes it."
On continuing to play aggressively...
"We kept fighting even though we were behind because you never know what can happen. That's something that will be taken to next year. We continued to fight and battle to the end."