Auburn Tigers Hold Off Gamecocks 6-4
March 6, 2005
Marietta, Ga. - South Carolina had the tying run at first base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when a base running mistake at third base ended the inning, and USC lost 6-4 to the Auburn Tigers Sunday morning at the Buzz Classic. The Gamecocks fell to 15-9 for the season and Kate Pouliot (3-3) took the loss. Auburn improved to 24-5 and Beth DiPietro is now 12-1.
USC hit three home runs to score its four runs on eight hits while Auburn accounted for six runs on six hits. Stranding runners on base was a problem for the Gamecocks as they left 12 on, including twice when the bases were loaded.
Carolina was down 6-3 in the seventh when a two-out rally began. Schoonmaker hit her third home run of the season to pull USC to within two. Whitney Wierzbicki was hit by a pitch before Auburn brought in Holly Currie to pitch for DiPietro. Currie gave up a walk to Josker, who represented the tying run. Meghan Cornett was then brought to the plate and on a 2-2 count, Currie threw ball three high when the steal attempt was made. Wierzbicki was thrown out at third by the catcher and halted the rally with the game ending play.
McKenna Hughes put the Gamecocks on the board first as she hit a two-out solo home run to left field. The home run was her third for the weekend and she recorded her tenth RBI for the tournament.
Auburn took the lead in the bottom half of the inning with two outs as Lolani Alvarez hit a two-run home run to left field and put the Tigers up 2-1.
The Gamecocks squandered another chance to score as they left the bases loaded for the second inning in a row. Cornett led off with a single and Hughes drew a walk before the two runners advanced on a sac bunt by Stefanie Norman. Ashley Smith was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs, but Becky Martinez fouled out down the left field line to end the inning.
Melanie Henkes entered the game in the third inning and gave up one run to the Tigers, making the score 3-1. Henkes then retired Auburn in order in the fourth, the first 1-2-3 inning of the game.
The Tigers scored two more runs on two hits and two walks in the fifth to go up 5-1. Ashley Griffin scored on a wild pitch and Kristina McCain came home on an RBI double by Holly Currie.
In the top of the sixth, USC continued to battle as Josker hit her third career home run and drove in two with one out and cut the Tigers lead to two, 5-3. Auburn kept its distance and scored again in the bottom half when Alvarez scored on a sac fly by Griffin and AU went ahead 6-3.
That would send the Gamecocks home from the tournament. USC went 4-2 at the Classic and hit 11 home runs with a hitting average of .374. Josker and Hughes led the team with three home runs and 10 RBIs each. Josker, who was named to the all-tournament team, hit .520 with 13 hits while Hughes hit .429 with 10 hits.
South Carolina now travels to Fayetteville, Ark. to open SEC play Tuesday night against the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks.