Auburn Wins First Two Games at Plainsman Invitational

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Auburn, Ala. - The Auburn softball team posted a pair of wins in the first day of the Plainsman Invitational, defeating Furman 9-1 and East Tennessee State 11-3. The Tigers play once Saturday, taking on Kent State at 12:30 p.m.

"I thought we did a good job offensively and defensively today," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We were hitting and driving in runs all the way through the lineup. It was good to see Morgan Estell back out there after her injury last season. I thought Morgan and our seniors did a good job today."

In game two, freshman Emily Carosone drove in four runs while sophomore Branndi Melero drove in three as the Tigers beat ETSU 11-3.

Lexi Davis (1-0) started and earned the win, allowing three runs, one earned, on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in four innings of work. Elliana Cabrera (0-1) started and took the loss, allowing five runs, all earned, on nine hits with one walk and one strikeout.

East Tennessee State took the early lead, plating two runs in the top of the first. Nicole Fox reached on a one-out error and came around to score on a single to right by Haley Thompson. After a strikeout, Jackie Baird laced a single through the left side to score Katie Wolff (single) to make it a 2-0 game.

The Tigers rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the first. Auburn took advantage of an ETSU error to plate its first run of the game. Morgan Estell led off with a single and moved to second on a ground out. Brooke Lathan then hit a line drive to left that Jennie Duncan misplayed, allowing the ball to hit off her glove and roll to the wall. Estell scored easily to make it a 2-1 game while Lathan advanced to third. Caitlin Jordan followed with a single up the middle to plate Lathan and tie the game 2-2.

With Kristyn Richards running for Jordan, Hilary Mavromat drew a walk and was lifted for pinch runner Jordan Rocker. Emily Carosone then broke the tie with Auburn's first home run of the season, which cleared the wall in left-center to give the Tigers a 5-2 lead. Kelsey Bogaards followed with a double to left-center and, with two outs, came in to score after a throwing error by third baseman Jackie Baird on a bunt single by Tiffany Howard which gave Auburn a 6-2 lead.

ETSU cut into the deficit in the top of the third. Baird, who reached on a fielder's choice, came in to score from second on a high chopping infield single by Casey Horner. Whitley Hensley (HBP) took second on the play while Baird's run made it a 6-3 game. With two on and two outs, Davis ended the inning with a called third strike on Samantha Carpenter.

The Tigers increased their lead in the bottom of fourth. Tiffany Howard singled to open the inning and took third on a single by Estell, who took second on the throw. Branndi Melero followed with a single up the middle to score both runners and push the Auburn lead to 8-3.

Hilary Mavromat relieved Davis to open the fifth and set the Bucs down in order for the first time in the game.

The Tigers increased their lead in the bottom of the sixth when Estell, who led off with a double, scored on a single by Melero that bounced off a diving Baird at third base. Estell's run made it 9-3 with Melero advancing to third on the play. Lathan made it a 10-3 game with a single through the left side to plate Melero. Following the RBI single the Tigers loaded the bases when Jordan was hit by a pitch and Mavromat drew a walk. The game ended on the mercy rule when Carosone was hit by a pitch forcing Lathan home for an 11-3 final score.

In game one, freshman pitcher Marcy Harper allowed one run (earned) on two hits while five different Tigers drove in at least one run as Auburn beat Furman 9-1 in five innings.

Harper (1-0) walked two and struck out five in her first career start. Shelby Parker (0-1) started and took the loss, allowing eight runs, five earned, on 11 hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

In the bottom of the first, the Tigers took advantage of a Furman error to plate the first run of the game. Morgan Estell walked and moved to second on an infield single by Branndi Melero. With one out, the pair advanced on a double steal. As Estell raced for third, the throw from catcher Hannah Pace sailed high into left field allowing Estell to score for a 1-0 Auburn lead.

With two outs in the inning, Brooke Lathan laced a triple in the gap to right-center to plate Melero and push the Auburn lead to 2-0. Emily Carosone followed with a single to left to score Lathan and make it a 3-0 lead. An infield single up the middle off the bat of Caitlin Schultze plated Carosone to give the Tigers a 4-0 edge.

After allowing one batter to reach in the top of the first, Harper retired seven straight before allowing a leadoff double to left to open the fourth. A walk to Lauren Collier put runners on second and first with no outs, but Harper retired three consecutive batters to end the inning without a run scoring.

Melero padded the Auburn lead with a two-out, two-run double to right-center in the bottom of the fourth. It scored Tiffany Howard (fielder's choice) and Estell (intentional walk) to push the Auburn lead to 6-0.

Furman broke up the shutout bid in the top of the fifth inning. Natalie Clemmons was hit by a pitch to open the fifth and came around to score on a double to center by Taylor Jenkins to cut the Auburn lead to 6-1. Harper, though, rebounded to retire the next three Furman hitters to end the rally.

Furman's third error of the day led to Auburn's run seventh run of the day. After consecutive singles by Lathan and Carosone, Schultze hit a ground ball that shortstop Sieara Bishop fielded but threw wildly to first. The error allowed Lathan to score from second to give Auburn a 7-1 lead. With Carosone at third and Schultze at second, Tiffany Howard chopped a ground ball out to shortstop that plated Carosone to push the Auburn lead to 8-1.

The game ended on Furman's fourth error of the game, second of the inning. Schultze came in to score on a fielding error by Bishop which gave the Tigers a 9-1 victory on the mercy rule.

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