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    SEC Softball Today: March 23

    sec softball RESULTS
    Auburn 7, Alabama 4
    Kentucky 3, Mississippi State 2
    Kentucky 7, Mississippi State 0
    Missouri 8, Georgia Tech 0
    Georgia 14, Ole Miss 5
    Georgia 12, Ole Miss 4
    LSU 6, South Carolina 0
    Florida 1, Arkansas 0
    Missouri 16, Georgia Tech 0
    Tennessee 8, Texas A&M 6 

     

    Auburn Defeats Alabama 7-4

    Tuscaloosa, Ala.  –  The Auburn softball team got a four-hit, two-RBI performance from Emily Carosone and a complete-game effort from pitcher Marcy Harper in a 7-4 defeat of the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday afternoon. 

    Auburn improved to 21-12 overall and 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama dropped to 28-4 overall and 5-3 in the SEC. The win snapped an 18-game losing streak to the Tide and a 10-game losing streak to Alabama at Rhoads Stadium. Auburn’s last win in the series came on April 25, 2006 and the last win in Tuscaloosa came on March 22, 2005. 

    “I am tremendously happy for our players and proud of the effort they gave today,” Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. “We battled back after getting behind early and never cracked. I thought Marcy did a really good job of never letting them get a big inning going. They put runners on, but couldn’t get a hit off her to get anyone home. We’re going to enjoy this tonight and get ready for a big game tomorrow.”

    The teams combined for 21 runners left on base, with Auburn leaving a season-high 12 and Alabama leaving nine runners on base. 

    Marcy Harper improved to 11-5 with her ninth complete game of the season. Harper allowed four runs, all earned, on nine hits with three walks and no strikeouts. It marked the first time since April 18, 2009, against No. 6 Georgia that Auburn pitching did not record a strikeout. 

    Leslie Jury started and took the loss to fall to 9-2. Jury allowed six runs, three earned, on 10 hits with four walks and five strikeouts in five and one-third innings. Jackie Traina pitched the final one and two-third innings allowing one run, earned, on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts. 

    The Tigers mounted a scoring threat in the top of the first. Morgan Estell led off with a single down the leftfield line. After stealing second, Estell took third on a one-out infield single by Carosone. Jury, however, was able to leave the runners stranded as she fanned Brooke Lathan on a swinging third strike and ended the inning on a ground to third by Caitlin Schultze. 

    Auburn put two runners on in the top of the second. Caitlin Jordan led off with a single and was followed by Baylee Stephens who put down a sac bunt. Jadyn Spencer fielded the bunt but threw wildly to first, allowing Stephens to reach safely. A sac bunt by Maris Medina moved Jade Rhodes, pinch-running for Jordan, to third and Stephens to second with one out. A two-out walk to Estell loaded the bases. Once again, though, Jury was able to keep the Tigers off the board she forced Branndi Melero to fly out to right to end the inning. 

    Alabama took the lead in the bottom of the second inning. Jackie Traina led off with a single and was lifted for pinch-runner Kallie Case who stole second base. A single back up the middle by Spencer plated Case for a 1-0 Tide lead. 

    Danielle Richard followed with a two-run home run that hit off the scoreboard in left-center, pushing the Alabama lead to 3-0. 

    Carosone put the Tigers on the board with a leadoff home run in the top of third. It was Carosone’s third home run of the season. Lathan followed the homer with a five-pitch walk. A ground out by Schultze moved Lathan to second with one out. A single to center by Jordan plated Lathan, cutting the Alabama lead to 3-2.

    Stephens followed with a single through the right side, moving Jordan to second. Medina followed with a sac bunt that was fielded by Richard at third, who fired back to Danae Hays covering third base. The throw was wild, for an error, and Jordan, attempting to score on the play, was thrown out at home. Stephens took third and Medina second on the play. 

    Tiffany Howard followed with a ground ball to Richard who fielded and fired wildly to first, also for an error. Stephens and Medina scored, giving Auburn a 4-3 lead. Howard took second on the play and came in to score on Richard’s third error of the inning, this time a throwing error to first on a ground ball by Estell. Howard’s run gave Auburn a 5-3 lead. 

    Following the five-run third inning, the Tigers and Tide took turns stranding runners on base. Auburn left the bases loaded in the fourth inning while Alabama left two runners on in the third, fourth and fifth innings. 

    After the Tigers put two on with one out in the top of the sixth, Jury was lifted for Traina. Carosone reached on an infield single and took second on a ground out.

    Schultze followed with an infield single that bounced off the glove of a diving Richard, putting runners on the corners. Kristyn Richards was put in to run for Schultze at first. On a 3-1 pitch to Jordan, Traina threw wildly high for ball four. The ball went to the backstop and allowed Carosone to score to make it 6-3. Richards took third on the play. Traina, however, would hold the Tigers to just one run in the inning as she struck out the next two batters to end the inning. 

    In the bottom of the sixth, Harper retired Andrew Hawkins and Kayla Braud on consecutive ground outs, before allowing an infield single Haylie McCleney. Harper recovered and left the runner stranded when Kaila Hunt fouled out to Schultze behind home plate. 

    Carosone extended Auburn’s lead in the top of the seventh with a two-out, RBI double to the wall in center. The double scored Estell, who walked, to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead. 

    In the bottom of the seventh, Harper worked ahead but Traina took her 1-2 offering over the wall in center for a leadoff home run to cut the Auburn lead to 7-4. It was Traina’s ninth home run of the season and second of the series. Harper battled back, though, and forced Spencer to fly out to left for the first out of the inning. 

    On a 1-1 pitch, Richard laced a fly ball to center that was caught on the run by an extended Howard for the second out. Harper closed the door on any two-inning rally threat when she forced Hays to pop up to second for the final out. 

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    NO. 7 MIZZOU ROARS PAST GEORGIA TECH IN DOUBLEHEADER
                                                                                                                                                                                    
    Tigers roll to two five-inning victories, winning 8-0 and 16-0 results at University Field
     
    COLUMBIA, Mo. – No. 7 Mizzou softball put on an offensive showcase in its doubleheader against Georgia Tech, winning two-five inning games by scores of 8-0 and 16-0 on Saturday at University Field. The Tigers blasted four doubles and five home runs over the two contests, including grand slams from sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo (Poway, Calif.) and senior catcher Rachel Hay (Kansas City, Mo.) in the first and second games, respectively.
     
    The Tigers’ victories improved their record to 17-2 overall. The Yellow Jackets fell to 14-17 with the two setbacks.
     
    Senior All-American pitcher Chelsea Thomas (Pleastantville, Iowa) picked up both pitching victories to improve to 9-1 in 2013. She tossed 3.0 shutout innings in the initial matchup, striking out five and allowing just one hit. Thomas also surrendered only one hit in the second game shutout, working 4.0 innings with another five strikeouts and one walk.
     
    In game one action, the Tigers were held to zero runs in the first inning, only to score six in the second. Randazzo’s base-cleaning long ball scored the bulk of the runs, with junior OF Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo.) scoring redshirt freshman OF Carlie Rose (Nixa, Mo.) on an earlier double to center field.
     
    Sykes helped Mizzou end the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with a double down the left field line that brought in a pair of Tigers to seal the 8-0 run rule victory. Senior Lindsey Muller (Stilwell, Kan.) threw the final 2.0 innings of the contest, allowing zero runs on four hits, striking out one batter.
     
    Mizzou pounced on Georgia Tech immediately in the second game, plating seven runs in the opening frame thanks, in part, to three home runs. Senior DP Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo.) launched her ninth home run of the season, a three-run shot that scored freshman 2B Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.) and senior CF Jenna Marston (St. Louis, Mo.). Sykes followed with a two-run homer to score sophomore 1B Kelsea Roth (Yorba Linda, Calif.), who reached base on a fielder’s choice. Sophomore SS Corrin Genovese (East Amherst, N.Y.) hit the inning’s third four-bagger, bringing in pinch-running sophomore Kayla Kingsley (Oklahoma City, Okla.).
     
    The Tigers continued with six runs in the bottom of the second with Kingsley beginning on an RBI single over third base. With the bases loaded, Hay followed with her grand slam to bring the Tigers’ advantage to 12-0. Redshirt freshman OF Taylor Gadbois (Maryville, Mo.) finished the scoring in the inning with an infield single to the pitcher that also brought home Genovese.
     
    Three more Mizzou runs scored in the third inning to set the game’s final score of 16-0. Crane smacked a two-out double down the left field line, bringing home junior utility player Brianna Corwin (Kansas City, Mo.), Hay and Kingsley.
     
    Mizzou’s 16 runs in the second game were the most for a Tiger squad since a 16-0 win over Drake on April 2, 2008.

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    Homers Power No. 21 Softball to Sweep of Mississippi State
     
    LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 21 University of Kentucky softball hit five home runs Saturday, including a two-homer game from true freshman Maisie Steed in game two, to claim both games of the doubleheader and clinch the Southeastern Conference series sweep over Mississippi State at the UK Softball Complex in Lexington, Ky. UK won game one 3-2 before the offense exploded for a 7-0 victory in the final game of the day.
     
    Due to the threat of inclement weather moving into the Lexington area Sunday morning, the two teams agreed to play a doubleheader Saturday to ensure the series would be completed. Sunday’s schedule has been canceled. 
     
    The series win over Mississippi State (20-9, 1-5 SEC) is the sixth for Kentucky in the all-time series, marking the fourth time in the last five years that UK has won the series against its SEC foe. The Bulldogs still lead the all-time series 27-19, while Kentucky leads the all-time series 13-11 in games played in Lexington. UK is 11-6 against Mississippi State under sixth-year head coach Rachel Lawson, including a 9-0 mark in Lexington. 
     
    Saturday’s wins give Kentucky a winning record in conference action at 5-4, while the Wildcats sit 23-8 overall this season. Entering the series, Mississippi State had won 14 of its last 16 games – good for the third best start in school history – including a school-record 12 consecutive road wins. The Bulldogs are currently receiving votes in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25. UK started conference play by taking two of three games from Ole Miss. 
     
    The Wildcat offense was the difference in the weekend series, scoring 15 runs on 24 hits with two doubles and seven home runs against a MSU pitching staff that enter the weekend ranked 22nd nationally in earned-run average. Senior Alice O’Brien paced the Wildcats with a .500 (5-for-10) average with one double, two home runs and three runs batted in. Freshman Nikki Sagermann also hit .500 (4-for-8) in the series with a home run and two runs scored. The other four home runs came from sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner, who had a homer and two RBI, junior outfielder Emily Jolly, who nailed her first roundtripper of the year in the series finale, and the two-homer game from Steed. 
     
    True freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley was impressive in the series, going 2-0 and not allowing a run the entire weekend. Nunley pitched nine innings in relief Friday night to get the win before throwing a complete-game shutout in game two Saturday, allowing only two hits with seven strikeouts. Junior pitcher Lauren Cumbess went 1-0 on the weekend with a 2.62 ERA after earning a no-decision Friday night and a win in game one Saturday, allowing two runs on five hits over seven innings.
     
    Joiner was key for the Wildcats behind the plate against MSU, posting a perfect fielding percentage while throwing out all five base runners that tried to steal. The talented backstop caught three batters stealing Friday night and two more Saturday in game one. For the season, Joiner has a .991 fielding percentage with 194 putouts, 18 assists and catching nearly 70 percent of base runners stealing. 
     
    The Wildcats took early leads in both games Saturday, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in game one behind the seventh home run of the season from Joiner. After two popups to start the inning, O’Brien ripped a single up the middle to extend the inning for Joiner, who took the first pitch she saw over the wall in leftfield to give UK the early lead.
     
    The Bulldogs answered with a run in the top of the second inning, getting an RBI double from Briana Bell. The inning started with Logan Foulks singling up the middle before getting thrown out at second base trying to steal. Cumbess then hit Jessica Cooley with a pitch, who would come around and score when Bell filled a gap in right-centerfield. 
     
    The Wildcats added a much-needed insurance run in the fourth inning, getting the second home run of the season from Sagermann, who laced a two-out blast to left-centerfield. Mississippi State started a small rally in the top of the seventh, getting a leadoff double by Foulks, who came home to score on the single to leftifled by Erin Nesbit. But Cumbess got a groundout to seal the win.
     
    Steed single handedly put the Wildcats out in front in game two, launching a leadoff bomb to rightfield in the bottom of the first inning. The native of Powder Springs, Ga., then gave Kentucky a 3-0 lead in the third inning with a mammoth two-run homer just fair down the leftfield line after freshman Sylver Samuel reached on an error. After Steed’s homer, O’Brien singled to leftfield, extending her hitting streak to a career-best five games. 
     
    UK tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Sagermann started the rally with a one-out single up the middle before being out at second on a fielder’s choice that allowed junior Krystal Smith to reach. Jolly then delivered her first home run of the season, hitting a laser over the wall in left-centerfield. 
     
    The Wildcats added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, getting an RBI single from Cumbess and a bases-loaded walk to junior pinch hitter Emily Gaines. 

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    Wray’s Two-Homer Day Fuels No. 13 Softball Past South Carolina, 6-0
     
    BATON ROUGE – Tammy Wray belted a pair of two-run home runs for a career-best four RBIs, while Ashley Czechner fired another one-hit shutout as the No. 13 LSU softball team picked up a 6-0 victory over South Carolina Saturday in-front of a season’s best 1,705 fans at Tiger Park. 
     
    The Tigers (27-5, 7-1 SEC) pushed their winning streak to nine games and have picked up victories in 13 of their last 15 outings since March 1. LSU also has strung together 15 consecutive wins over the Gamecocks (17-11, 0-5 SEC) going back to the 2008 season. 
     
    The win enabled LSU to remain in sole possession of first place in the SEC Western Division race. The Tigers have a two-game edge over Alabama and Texas A&M. However, the Aggies play game two of their three-game set at Tennessee later tonight. 
     
    Czechner came away with her first career seven-inning shutout with the Tigers and improved to 7-0 to stay unblemished on the season. The lone hit for South Carolina came on a Dana Hathorn infield single with one out in the fourth inning.  
     
    “Ashley did a really good job,” head coach Beth Torina said. “She threw a lot of strikes today and was able to spin it really well. I thought she kept them off balanced for the entire game. It was a really good performance from her. I thought it was probably her best. You know, I say that every time she takes the mound that it has been her best performance. I think that just shows how much she continues to grow every time she takes the field.”
     
    Czechner, a South Carolina native, collected five strikeouts against one walk on an economical 82 pitches. She pounded the zone early and often by registering 17-of-24 in the first pitch strikes department.  
     
    “At the beginning of the year, I was just trying to feel everything out,” Czechner said. “Now I’m getting a lot more comfortable in the circle and a lot more comfortable with my teammates. I’m pitching against some of the best competition in the SEC. Coach Torina has worked really, really hard with me. We’ve been working on each pitch, doing certain drills and really just fine tuning the little things.”
     
    LSU dented the scoreboard for the first time with a two-spot during the fourth inning. Sandra Simmons smacked a one-out single through the right side. After an 11-pitch at-bat her first time up, Wray jumped on the first pitch of her second plate appearance. She cranked a two-run dinger just inside the left field foul pole and onto the berm to make it 2-0. 
     
    “My first at-bat, I told Coach (Howard) Dobson that I was going to look out,” Wray said. “I’ve been struggling with the inside pitch. Unfortunately I popped up to the third baseman, but I was able to see a lot of pitches. Going into my next at-bat, I was confident that I saw enough pitches. I knew where she liked to throw. I told myself that I was going to look in because that was all she was throwing me. Fortunately on the first pitch, I was able to make contact and keep it fair.” 
     
    The Tigers added four more runs in the fifth inning. Jacee Blades, who matched a career-high with three hits for her team-leading 10th multi-hit effort of the season, chopped a leadoff infield single. Bianka Bell ripped a 3-1 offering over the right centerfield fence to claim her sixth homer of the season and extend the LSU lead to 4-0.
     
    Four batters later, Wray struck again with another two-run roundtripper. This time she went to straight-away centerfield for the final margin of 6-0. The last LSU player to connect for two home runs during a SEC game was Rachel Mitchell versus Arkansas on April 27, 2008 at the original Tiger Park.

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    Georgia Sweeps Series With Ole Miss
     
    ATHENS, Ga. --- Geri Ann Glasco and Tina Iosefa combined to go 6-of-9 with five home runs to lead the No. 23/24 University of Georgia softball team to a pair of victories over the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday, March 23 at Jack Turner Stadium. The Bulldogs took the first game 14-5 in five innings and won the second game in six innings by a score of 12-4. Georgia improved to 25-7 for the season and 6-0 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Rebels dropped to 19-18 overall and 1-8 in league play.
     
    GEORGIA 14, OLE MISS 5
    Glasco pitched a complete five innings and improved to 15-1 for the season. Glasco allowed five runs on six hits. After giving up four runs in the first, Glasco settled in and only allowed three runners to reach over the next three innings. Shelby Jo Fenter (6-7) suffered the loss for Ole Miss after pitching 1/3 of an inning and giving up six runs, all of which were earned, in seven batters faced. Lauren Lindsey and Madi Osias also saw time in the circle for Ole Miss. Lindsey gave up five runs on five hits while Osias allowed three runs off of two hits.
     
    Ole Miss took an early lead in the first inning after a double drove in Brittany Broome for the first run. Erinn Jayjohn followed with a three-run home run to give the Rebels a 4-0 advantage. Georgia halted the Rebels’ momentum and kept Ole Miss from scoring again in the first.
     
    Ole Miss’ lead was short lived as the Bulldogs scored nine runs in the bottom of the first to take a 9-4 lead. The scoring started when Kaylee Puailoa walked up to the plate with the bases loaded and knocked a solid single to right field to bring in Anna Swafford. Georgia inched its way towards a tie, using a walk, a single and hit by pitch to bring the score to 4-4. Just before the tying run, Ole Miss turned to the bullpen and brought Lindsey to the circle. A pass ball allowed Tess Sito to cross the plate and give the Bulldogs a 5-4 advantage. Swafford hit a bases-clearing triple to stretch Georgia’s lead to 8-4. Glasco drove in the final run of the inning with a RBI-single that scored Swafford and gave Georgia a 9-4 lead.
     
    Glasco hit her 10th home run of the season, tying her for the team lead, and extended Georgia’s lead to 10-4 in the third inning. 
     
    The Bulldogs stretched the lead to 11-4 in the fourth inning after Sito roped a double to the right-center field wall and drove in Samantha LaZear. The Rebels scored a run in the fifth inning to cut Georgia’s lead to 11-5. 
     
    Glasco hit her second home run of the game to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning and put Georgia up 12-5. The round-tripper marked the first time this season she has hit two home runs in a game. Puailoa ended the game when she delivered a walk-off two-run home run two batters later.
     
    GEORGIA 12, OLE MISS 4
    Chelsea Wilkinson (3-1) got the start in the second game and recorded the win after putting in five innings of work. Wilkinson, who did not give up a hit in the first three innings, allowed four runs off of five hits. Morgan Montemayor also saw time in the circle and recorded three strikeouts and just one walk in one inning. Carly Hummel (8-10) suffered the loss for the Rebels after giving up six runs off of six hits. Jayjohn came in as relief in the fifth inning and allowed six runs on five hits. Combined, Hummel and Jayjohn accounted for four walks and just one strikeout.
     
    Glasco led off the game for Georgia with her third consecutive round-tripper of the day. Iosefa followed with a home run of her own and the Bulldogs took an early 2-0 lead.
     
    A pitchers’ duel ensued for the second and third innings before Ole Miss scored a run in the fourth inning when Jayjohn hit her second home run of the day. Georgia kept the score at 2-1 and ended the inning as Wilkinson induced a fly out to center field. 
     
    The Rebels tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the fifth with another home run. Once again, the Bulldogs halted Ole Miss’ momentum and ended the inning with two consecutive outs following the hit.
     
    Georgia took the lead back in the bottom of the fifth when Katie Browne hit a no-doubter over the scoreboard to lead off the inning. LaZear crossed home on a pass ball to extend Georgia’s lead to 4-2. Georgia chased Carly Hummel from the circle and Ole Miss turned to Jayjohn just before the Bulldogs went up 7-2 when Iosefa added a three-run round-tripper to bring in Tiesha Reed and Swafford. 
     
    The Rebels cut into Georgia’s lead in the sixth inning by opening with two home runs. The Bulldogs then brought Montemayor to the circle, who made quick work of ending the Rebels’ at bat by striking out three of the four batters she faced.
     
    Georgia sealed the victory with a five-run sixth inning, scoring all of its runs with two outs. Swafford started things off by crossing the plate on a bases loaded walk by Iosefa. Puailoa laced a single to center field to bring in Paige Wilson and Glasco and increase Georgia’s advantage to 10-4. Sito ended the game with a walk-off double that scored Katie Sowers and Maya Branch, who were pinch running for Iosefa and Puailoa, respectively.

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    No. 3 Florida Uses Senior Kelsey Horton's Walk-Off Homer to Complete Series Sweep of Arkansas
     
    GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Senior right fielder Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) laced a two-out homer to left field with two strikes against her in the bottom of the seventh to walk No. Florida softball off with a 1-0 victory over the Razorbacks Saturday evening, completing the Gators’ series sweep over Arkansas at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
     
    Florida improved to 31-3 overall on the year, 7-2 in Southeastern Conference play, with its first series sweep of the conference season, third series win of the year. Arkansas moved to 21-13 on the year, 0-6 in conference play.
     
    Junior ace Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) tossed a three-hit shutout – UF’s 13th shutout of the year – with six strikeouts in the pitcher’s duel with Razorback hurler Chelsea Cohen, who also went the distance, allowed five Gator hits, walked seven and had four strikeouts on the night. Rogers chalked up her 17th win of the season (17-2) with Horton’s seventh-inning heroics, UF’s fourth walk-off of the season and Horton’s fourth game-winning RBI of the season – her second of the series after knocking the winning two-RBI double in the bottom of the third in the nightcap Friday.
     
    Rogers finished the weekend with 19 strikeouts and two victories, allowed just eight hits in three appearances, walked just two and gave up no runs through the three-game series with Arkansas.
     
    Florida’s seven walks in game two Friday and seven Saturday night tied for its second-most in league play to the Gators’ eight BBs against Auburn March 8.
     
    Horton hit .500 through the series (3-for-6) with two doubles and Saturday’s game-winning blast, knocking in a team-tying three RBI through the weekend. Freshman second baseman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) wasn’t far behind with a .455 clip (5-for-11), including her school-record sixth triple of the season in the bottom of the third Saturday. Stewart surpassed six former Gators, who all knocked five in a season, to take sole possession of the single-season record. 
     
    Stewart was 2-for-3 at the plate Saturday with one walk, while Horton, senior Ensley Gammel (Bakersfield, Calif.) and freshman Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) all connected for base hits against the Razorbacks in the series finale.
     
    Arkansas connected for a base hit each in the first, third and fifth, but Rogers and the UF defense did work to limit the Razorbacks’ scoring opportunities. Rogers forced three up, three down in the second, fourth and seventh innings, and faced just four batters in the first and third to strand the two base runners in each frame on.
     
    After a leadoff double in the fifth for the Razorbacks, followed by a sac bunt to move Sierra Bronkey to third, Rogers forced a pop up and fly out to end the top half of the inning and keep the game scoreless. 
     
    Florida had its best chance to score early in the bottom of the third after Stewart’s leadoff triple, followed by a freshman Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) walk and stolen base before Horton drew her one walk of the game, a two-out base on balls to load ‘em up. Cohen forced a ground out to halt the Gator threat.
     
    After a foul out and pop up to the Gators’ first two batters in the bottom of the seventh, Horton stepped in with two down and the game scoreless, watched a ball, fouled one off and took a Cohen strike before sending the 1-2 offering right off the bat and over the left-field fence to wrap up the series, and game, with one swing.

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    DAVIN DRIVES IN 3 AS NO. 8/8 UT BEATS NO. 5/4 TEXAS A&M, 8-6
     
    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Melissa Davin hit a two-run homer and tallied three RBIs and Melissa Brown and Hannah Akamine each drove in a pair of runs to lead No. 8/8 Tennessee to an exciting 8-6 win over No. 5/4 Texas A&M on Saturday at Lee Stadium. 
     
    Tennessee (26-6, 5-3 SEC) honored legendary pitcher Monica Abbott (2004-2007) with a pre-game jersey retirement ceremony, recognizing her incredible achievements and commitment to excellence at UT. Abbott also threw out the first pitch of the game. 
     
    The win gives the Lady Vols two series wins over SEC opponents ranked in the top five. UT previously took two out of three against then-No. 1/2 Alabama. 
     
    After Texas A&M (26-4, 4-3 SEC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Tennessee answered with five runs in the bottom of the first and never surrendered the lead. 
     
    Davin went 3-for-4 with a two-run jack, three RBIs and two runs. Brown finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs. Akamine had a two-RBI single the third. Lauren Gibson hit a solo homer in the first. 
     
    In the circle, Ivy Renfroe (11-3) battled in the circle, striking out seven batters over seven frames to earn the complete-game victory. She allowed six runs (three earned). 
     
    Lauren Ainsley (8-2) took the loss after surrendering five earned runs over two-thirds of an inning. Ainsley started the game and Mel Dumezich threw 5.1 relief innings, allowing three runs (two earned). 
     
    The Aggies took a 1-0 lead in the first when Meagan May scored from third base with two outs on a wild pitch. In the same at-bat, Nicole Morgan scored when Jenna Stark reached on a fielding error at third. 
     
    Tennessee responded in a big way in the bottom of the first to take a 5-2 lead. With one out, Gibson got UT on the scoreboard with a solo blast over the wall in right field on a 1-1 pitch. Four batters later, with two outs, Brown clubbed a two-RBI single to right field to plate Madison Shipman and Kat Dotson and push the Lady Vols ahead, 3-2. Davin followed with a towering two-run homer that soared over the wall in left field to give UT a three-run advantage. 
     
    Texas A&M climbed back within one run in the top of the second. With the bases loaded, Renfroe struck out Emily Albus and induced an out behind the plate by May. In the next at-bat, Morgan clubbed an RBI single to left field. In the next at-bat, Amber Garza scored on a passed ball to bring the Aggies to within 5-4. 
     
    The Lady Vols plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning when Akamine knocked a two-RBI single to right field to bring in Brown and Davin. UT's lead grew to 7-4. 
     
    The aggies scored a run in the top of the fourth when Morgan hit a one-out sac fly to foul territory in left, bringing home Albus. The Aggies drew to within 7-6 in the top of the fifth when Stark opened the inng with a solo homer to right center off a 2-2 pitch. 
     
    UT scored one more run in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Davin ripped an RBI single up the middle to score Dotson from second.