The Auburn Tigers split their double header with the Arkansas Razorbacks, losing the initial game 4-2 but winning the rubber game 4-2.
The Tigers entered today’s games after defeating the Razorbacks 11-1 in the series opener last night. The victory got Auburn back into the win column after dropping two straight to Mizzou.
Following the senior day festivities, pitcher Makayla Martin took to the circle for the Tigers. After a hitless first inning, Arkansas opened up the second with Ashley Diaz’s single to left field. Diaz was later sent home on a RBI single by Autumn Buczek.
The Tigers answered the Razorbacks’ score with one of their own when Makenna Dowell scored on an RBI single by Taylon Snow. Auburn tacked on another run in the third inning Alyssa Rivera was sent home on an RBI bunt by Morgan Podany.
In the fourth, Arkansas tied the game at 2 when Haydi Bugarin scored on an error by Auburn. The score remained for the rest of regulation and into extras until the 10th inning, when Arkansas’ AJ Belans homered to left center field giving Arkansas a 4-2 lead.
Auburn failed to score in the bottom of the tenth, locking up a win for Arkansas in the first game of the day.
“It wasn’t for lack of effort,” said Auburn head coach Mickey Dean. “We’re gonna make mistakes. It was hard on them, they take pride in their defense.”
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Inability to bring runners home led to the Tigers’ demise, as Auburn left 10 runners on base in the game. Auburn finished the game with eight hits, but couldn’t seem to hit when it mattered.
In the rubber game, Arkansas picked up right where it left off, scoring in the first inning off an RBI by Belans, sending home Buczek. After Auburn failed to score with the bases loaded, Arkansas’ Loren Krzysko hit a solo home run to extend the Razorbacks’ lead to 2-0.
A spectacular grab by Podany in deep left field kept the Razorbacks from continuing their scoring streak into the third.
“I just pulled them in after that second inning just because it looked like they were playing holding their breath," Dean said. "And I was like just breathe ladies, it’s a seven inning ball game, not a two inning ball game, we’re okay.”
The Tigers came out to hit in the third, starting with a Casey McCrackin triple to start the third. Following McCrackin, Courtney Shea hit a two-run homer, tying the game 2-2.
“I was looking for something on the inner half,” Shea said. “Something I could drive and crack out.”
After a cold fourth inning for both teams, the Tigers came back alive in the fifth when Kendall Veach hit a two-RBI double, giving Auburn a 4-2 lead, which they would hold on to for the rest of the game.
"Our defense and our pitching had to fight through a lot of mistakes today, but we did.” Dean said.
Pitcher Kaylee Carlson closed out the first game and pitched the entirety of the second matchup. Carlson allowed seven hits with only one earned run and one strikeout.
“We started mixing up change ups and I think that made a huge difference,” Carlson said.
The win in the rubber game allowed Auburn to lock up a win in the series in what was its last home series. The Tigers improved to 38-11 and head to College Station on Friday for a three-game series next weekend with the Aggies. First pitch is set for Friday at 6:30 pm CT.
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