Stillwater, Okla. — Julie Ward’s two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning lifted the 19th-ranked Oklahoma State softball team to a 3-2 victory over No. 24 Auburn Sunday afternoon at Cowgirl Stadium.
The Tigers moved to 17-2 with the loss while Oklahoma State improved to 15-5. Auburn returns to action Tuesday, March 8, with a double-header at Jane B. Moore Field. Auburn plays Connecticut at 2 p.m. and Florida State at 5 p.m.
Angel Bunner (5-1) started and took the loss for Auburn. Bunner allowed three runs, all earned, on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts in six innings of work.
Kat Espinoza (9-2) earned the complete-game victory for OSU. Espinoza allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit with two walks and five strikeouts.
Auburn took advantage of a pair of passed balls on catcher Ashley Boyd to score the first run of the game. Morgan Estell drew a leadoff walk and used two passed balls to move to third. With one out, Lauren Guzman perfectly executed a squeeze bunt to score Estell and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Oklahoma State tied the game in the bottom of the second. Sammy Diffendaffer reached on a fielder’s choice, attempting to advance a runner with a sac bunt, and came around to score on a double to the wall in center by Boyd to make it 1-1.
Kyndall White broke the tie with a two-out home run to left-center in the top of the third inning. It was White’s third home run of the season and the 25th of her career and it gave Auburn a 2-1 edge.
Oklahoma State rallied in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead. Julie Ward cranked a two-out, two-run home run to center to give the Cowgirls a 3-2 lead. Ward’s home run came with Chelsea Garcia (single) aboard. It was Ward’s fifth home run of the season.