Elizabeth Eisterhold drove in three runs while Baylee Stephens and Hilary Mavromat each had solo home runs to lead the Auburn softball team to a 6-2 victory over Appalachian State Sunday.
Auburn improved to 5-0 with the win and claimed the Tiger Invitational tournament championship. Appalachian State fell to 1-3 with loss. Auburn returns to action next weekend when the Tigers host the SEC/ACC/Big 12 Challenge featuring four nationally ranked teams. The Tigers host Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Alabama and Virginia Tech beginning Friday, Feb. 17.
"This was a good weekend for us," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We were able to get a lot of players some playing time and they all were productive. Now we have to turn our attention to the week ahead and work on getting better."
Lauren Schmalz started and earned the win to improve to 2-0. Schmalz went four innings for Auburn, allowing one run, earned, on three hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. Angel Bunner relieved Schmalz to start the fifth and pitched the final three innings to earn her first save of the season. Bunner allowed one run, earned, on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
Caroline Wainwright started and took the loss after allowing four runs, two earned, on three hits with five walks and one strikeout.
The Mountaineers took the early lead. Caroline Rogers tripled to lead off the bottom of the second inning and came in to score on Meghan Smith's ground out to second to give Appalachian State a 1-0 lead.
Eisterhold tied the game at 1-1 with a one-out, bases-loaded single through the left side that scored Amber Harrison in the top half of the third. Harrison doubled to center to open the inning and was followed by a walk to Morgan Estell and a one-out walk to Caitlin Jordan that loaded the bases. Eisterhold followed with the game-tying hit. But Appalachian State would limit the Tigers to one run, however.
Hilary Mavromat gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning. It was Mavromat's first home run of the season. After the dinger, Maris Medina reached on a throwing error by relief pitcher Caroline Wainwright. Harrison and Jordan each drew walks to load the bases and Eisterhold delivered a two-run single to left to give Auburn a 4-1 edge.
Auburn extended its lead in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Hilary Mavromat walked and was lifted for pinch-runner Baylee Stephens. Maris Medina then laced a triple to the wall in right to score Stephens and give Auburn a 5-1 lead.
Appalachian State cut the deficit in the bottom of the sixth when Allie Cashion crushed a leadoff home run over the wall in center to make it a 5-2 game.
The Tigers added a run in the top of the seventh when Baylee Stephens cranked a one-out, solo home run over the wall in center. Stephens' first-career home run gave Auburn the final 6-2 margin of victory.