The 23rd-ranked Auburn softball team committed five errors on the day and the third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide took advantage to sweep a double-header from the Tigers Wednesday. Alabama won game one 6-1 and game two 8-2.
Auburn falls to 22-4 overall and 3-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama improved to 26-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC. The Tigers return to action this weekend with a three-game series at home against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Game one of the series is slated for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch at Jane B. Moore Field.
In game two, after Auburn scored the first run of the game the Crimson Tide scored the next eight runs to complete a double-header sweep with an 8-2 victory. Jenee Loree started and took the loss to fall to 6-2. Loree allowed six runs, three earned, on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Jackie Traina started and earned the win to improve to 11-0. Traina allowed one run, earned, on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
Morgan Estell gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with a leadoff home run to center to open the game. It was Estell's fourth home run of the season and her second of the day. The Crimson Tide answered right back in the bottom of the first.
With two outs, Traina ripped a two-run home run to center that gave Alabama a 2-1 lead. It was Traina's 12th home run of the season and it came with Jazlyn Lunceford (fielder's choice) aboard.
Alabama extended its lead in the second inning. Kendall Dawson reached and advanced to second on a throwing error by third baseman Kyndall White. Braud drew a two-out walk to put runners at second and first. Lunceford followed with a single through the right side that scored Dawson. But, with Braud going for third Caitlin Stangl fielded the ball in right and fired wildly to third, allowing Braud to score and Lunceford to move to third base. Whitney Larsen followed with a double to the wall in center to score Lunceford and push the Alabama lead to 5-1.
Cassie Reilly-Boccia opened the bottom of the third inning with a double down the line in right. It chased Loree from the game and brought Bunner in to pitch. Facing the same batter, Bunner threw two illegal pitches to advance Reilly-Boccia from second base to home, to give Alabama a 6-1 lead.
Still in the third inning, Courtney Conley gave Alabama a 7-1 lead with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Dawson, who reached on a fielder's choice. Dawson advanced to third when Katie Colton booted a single to left field off the bat of Kaila Hunt.
Bunner's fifth illegal pitch of the night gave Alabama its eighth and final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Tigers scored a run in the top of the seventh when Amber Harrison scored on a passed ball. Harrison doubled and advanced to third on a ground out to set up the last run. In game one, third-ranked Alabama broke a tie game with three two-out runs in the third inning to win 6-1. Lauren Schmalz started and took the loss to fall to 10-1. Schmalz pitched six innings, allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits with five walks and seven strikeouts.
Kelsi Dunne improved to 11-1 with the complete-game victory. Dunne allowed one run, earned, on five hits with two walks and 14 strikeouts.
Alabama took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs, Kaila Hunt took a 2-1 pitch from Schmalz over the fence in left-center for a solo home run. It was Hunt's sixth home run of the season and Alabama's first hit of the game.
The lead was short as Morgan Estell tied the game with a leadoff home run in the top of the third inning. Estell turned on Dunne's 2-1 offering and cranked it over the wall in right for her third home run of the season.
The Crimson Tide re-captured the lead on an Auburn fielding mistake in the bottom of the third inning. Whitney Larsen doubled with one out and was followed by a two-out walk to Cassie Reilly-Boccia.
Locke then lofted a fly ball to right that Caitlin Stangl lost in the sun. The ball landed, allowing Larsen and Reilly-Boccia to score. Stangl relayed the ball to Kelsey Cartwright at second, but Cartwright's throw to third, attempting to get Locke, was high and sailed into the Alabama dugout, allowing Locke to score and give Alabama a 4-1 lead.
Auburn missed a scoring opportunity in the top of the fourth inning. Cartwright was hit by a pitch to open the inning, but was thrown out when she slid past the bag attempting to steal second with Kelley Smiley at bat. After the out, Smiley singled to left. With two outs, Katie Colton singled on a bunt to put runners at second and first, but with Stangl at the plate, Smiley was picked off of second base for the final out of the inning.
The Crimson Tide padded its lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs and Kayla Braud (double) aboard, Jazlyn Lunceford crunched a two-run home run into the bleacher seats in right field. It was Lunceford's third home run of the season and it gave the Tide a 6-1 lead.