May 4, 2013
Fayetteville, Ark. -
Jennifer Rembo's one-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning drove Devon Wallace to give the Arkansas Razorbacks an 8-7 win over the Auburn softball team Saturday night.
Auburn's record dropped to 30-22 overall and 7-16 in the Southeastern Conference. The loss eliminated the Tigers from SEC Tournament contention. Arkansas improved to 33-17 overall and 11-10 in the SEC. The teams conclude the series at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
"This is very disappointing," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "I hate it for our seniors. They worked so hard this season. They kept fighting and plaything their tails off. I know this isn't the ending they wanted but I am tremendously proud of the way they carried themselves the entire season.
"We were able to overcome an early deficit and pull ahead in the fifth inning. Brooke (Lathan) came through with a big hit to drive in a couple runs and Morgan (Estell) did as well. Arkansas kept chipping away though and we weren't able to capitalize on some chances."
Lexi Davis started and took the loss to fall to 9-9. Davis pitched seven innings, allowing six runs, all earned, on 10 hits with five walks and five strikeouts. Marcy Harper relieved Davis to start the bottom of the sixth and was able to get just one out before being lifted for Davis. Harper allowed two runs, both earned, on two hits with one walk.
Hope McLemore earned the win in relief to improve to 6-2. McLemore went three and one-third innings allowing just a pair of hits and two walks with one strikeout. Chelsea Cohen started for Arkansas and went four and two-thirds innings. Cohen allowed seven runs, all earned, on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
The Razorbacks jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Devon Wallace drew a walk and moved to second on a single to left by Clarisa Navarro. After a groundout moved the runners to third and second, Jennifer Rambo laced a single to right that plated Wallace for a 1-0 Arkansas lead.
Sierra Bronky followed with a ground out to Morgan Estell at first base, which scored Navarro from third to make it a 2-0 lead for the Razorbacks.
A two-out, solo home run from Jayme Gee gave the Razorbacks a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. It was Gee's eighth home run of the season and it came after Davis had retired the first two batters of the inning and worked the count to Gee to 3-2.
The Tigers cut into the deficit in the top half of the third when Branndi Melero crushed a two-run home run to center on a 1-2 pitch. It was Melero's 10th homer of the season and it came with Baylee Stephens, who led off with a single, aboard.
Auburn rallied with five runs in the top of the fifth. After allowing the two-run homer, Cohen retired six consecutive Auburn batters until Tiffany Howard broke up the string with a two-out walk in the top of the fifth. Melero followed with a single through the right side that moved Howard to third. Melero alertly took second on the relay throw as no one was covering the bag at second. An intentional walk to Emily Carosone loaded the bases for senior Brooke Lathan.
Lathan delivered with a single through the left side to score Howard and Melero to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. On a 0-2 pitch, Morgan Estell pulled a triple to the gap in right-center to score Carosone and Lathan and push the Auburn lead to 6-3. Estell's two-run triple chased Cohen from the game and brought in McLemore. Caitlin Jordan followed with the Tigers' third consecutive hit, singling to right to score Estell to make it 7-3.
Consecutive walks to Wallace and Navarro put the first two batters on in the bottom of the fifth for the Razorbacks. A ground out down the first base line moved the runners to third and second with one out. On a 1-2 pitch, Rambo hit a soft blooper that hit off the tip of a diving Kelsey Bogaards' glove at second base, dropping in for a single. Wallace scored on the play, with Navarro taking third, to make it a 7-4 game.
Davis was able to pick up the second out on a called third strike of Bronkey. Rambo swiped second base on the call, however, to put runners at third and second with two outs. The Razorbacks made it a 7-5 game when Stephanie Canfield beat the throw from Lathan at short on her ground ball. Navarro scored from third on the play to make it a two-run game. With runners on the corners and two out, the Tigers were able to end the Arkansas rally when Nicole Schroeder grounded out back to Davis to end the inning.
Harper relieved Davis to open the bottom of the sixth. After forcing Geile to foul out to Stephens in left, Harper gave up a single to Gee and walk to Wallace to put the tying run aboard. Navarro followed with a single through the left side to score pinch-runner Ashley Martindale to cut the Auburn lead to 7-6. Davis came back in to pitch following the RBI single.
Davis was greeted by Chloe Oprzedek who singled through the right side to score Wallace and tie the game 7-7. Navarro and Oprzedek each advanced on the relay throw home to put runners at third and second with one out. Davis was able to end the inning with the tying run at third after forcing a pop-up and fly-out to center.
In the top of the seventh, Lathan drew a one-out walk but was forced out at second on a fielder's choice off the bat of Estell. McLemore sent the game to the bottom of the seventh tied when Jordan lined out to left to end the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, Wallace drew her fifth walk of the game to put the leadoff batter on base. Navarro followed with a single back up the middle to move the winning run to second base. A sacrifice bunt by Oprzedek moved the runners to third and second with one out. Rambo then delivered the game-winning single, shooting a ball past Estell at first, to score Wallace for the 8-7 final.