April 16, 2014
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama softball suffered its third-straight loss Wednesday night, falling to Auburn in a single non-conference game at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.
Alabama (37-8) could not rally offensively, knocking in just four hits. The Tide's lone extra-base hit of the day was a solo homer by Jadyn Spencer in the fourth inning, her seventh long ball of the season. Auburn (32-12-1) converted all of its hits into runs, scoring six off six hits including home runs by Kasey Cooper and Morgan Estell that accounted for five of the six runs scored. Leslie Jury (13-5) took the loss for Alabama in the circle, throwing 4.1 innings, while Marcy Harper (15-2) went the distance for the Tigers in the win.
The Tigers took the first lead of the game in the bottom of the first as Emily Carosone led off the half-inning with a single and Cooper followed it up with a two-run homer over the left-field fence, putting Auburn up 2-0 with nobody out. Molly Fichtner stopped Auburn's momentum with a great pickoff at second base, as Jury forced a popup and strikeout to end the inning and limit the damage to just two runs.
A walk and a fielding error put two on base for Auburn in the bottom of the third with one away as Estell cleared the bases with a three-run homer to left field, giving the Tigers a 5-0 lead. A foul out and fly ball ended the half-inning but the Tide found itself in a five-run hole.
Jadyn Spencer erased the shutout in the top of the fourth, as she blasted a huge solo home run over the scoreboard in left-center to draw the Tide within four runs, trailing 5-1. The Tigers regained the five-run lead in the bottom-half of the inning off a sacrifice fly as the Tigers pulled back ahead, 6-1.
Auburn loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth, which ended Jury's outing in the circle as Sydney Littlejohn entered in relief. She worked Alabama out of the bases-loaded jam, throwing back-to-back strikeouts to end the half-inning.
With two outs in the top of the sixth, Fichtner drove in Kaila Hunt from second with a single down the left-field line, but was tagged out at second trying to extend it to a double to end the half-inning as Alabama now trailed 6-2. Littlejohn retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth, as Alabama was down to its final three outs trailing by four in the top of the seventh. A rally wasn't in the cards as Alabama was retired in order to give Auburn the 6-2 victory.
This weekend, Alabama gets a break from conference play with three games in Chapel Hill, N.C. On Friday, April 18, the Tide will play two games, facing the Georgia Southern Eagles (30-14) at 2:30 p.m. CT and the North Carolina Tar Heels (22-22) at 5 p.m. CT. On Saturday, April 19, Alabama and North Carolina will meet a second time at 11 a.m. CT.