Solo Home Run Sinks Cats
Auburn, Ala. – A solo home run in the sixth inning was all it took for the 15th-ranked Auburn Tigers to sneak past the Kentucky softball team for the second time Saturday in Auburn, Ala. The Cats held AU to just five hits in the contest after the Tigers exploded for 13 in an earlier 6-1 loss in game one.
Gretchen Prugh (5-10) pitched five shutout innings of work before giving up the lone run of the game to lead-off batter Martha Phillips in what turned out to be AU’s last at-bat. UK (25-30-1, 6-23 Southeastern Conference) had plenty of chances to reach the scoreboard in the game, including failing to score despite loading the bases with no outs in the second. The Cats again threatened in the sixth, as Amber Janneck advanced to third with a pair of outs in the frame, but again UK couldn’t come up with a hit to send the freshman home.
Holly Currie and Kristin Keyes combined to limit the Cats to just two hits on the afternoon. Keyes (23-9) picked up her second win of the day in relief, throwing 1.2 perfect innings while striking out four of the last five UK batters.
The Tigers’ (37-13, 18-10 SEC) offense came alive to claim the 6-1 victory in game one. UA wasted no time getting on the board, as Kristina McCain led off the game with a single and scored after an attempted force-out throw at second went awry into right field. The Auburn offense got jump-started again in the third, as the Tigers had four runners cross the bags on five hits in the frame to take a 5-0 lead.
Auburn scored another in the fifth before the Cats finally put together a rally in the sixth, as Ashley Fertic and Rachel Friberg walked to begin the frame and advanced on a bunt single from Janneck. Fertic gave the score its final tally, 6-1, when she raced home following an error from the Auburn third baseman.
Keyes shut down UK in the complete-game victory, allowing only six base runners the entire game. The senior also struck out 11 en route to her 22nd victory of the season.
The series, along with UK’s season, will wrap up tomorrow at Jane B. Moore Field. Live stats can be accessed at www.ukathletics.com at 1 p.m. EST.