“Auburn Never Quits In Eliminating UCLA From WCWS” Written By Bill Plummer
OKLAHOMA CITY – If anything could be said about the Auburn softball team, is it never quits no matter what.
In a game that took four hours and 13 minutes to play and was one of the wildest in recent memory, Auburn stayed alive to play Sunday against undefeated Florida with a 11-10 win in 10 innings over UCLA.
As catcher Carlee Wallace said later, “When there's a call, we answer.” Indeed the Tigers did answer and especially Morgan Estell who walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th to score the deciding run and give Auburn its second win in three games in the WCWS.
To continue in the WCWS, the Tigers (56-10) will have to defeat the Gators twice beginning at noon. If the Gators win, then they advance to the Championship Series (best-of-three) starting Monday.
The loss eliminated UCLA from the tournament with the Bruins finishing 51-12 after making its first appearance in five years in the WCWS. Last time the Bruins appeared in the WCWS it won the national title by defeating Arizona for its 11th national appearance.
Making its first appearance ever in the WCWS under head coach Clint Myers, the Tigers showed true grit from the outset, rallying from an early five-run deficit, taking a lead, losing a lead and finally winning in the 10th inning when Ally Carda walked Estell.
Catcher Wallace had as much grit and determination as anybody for the Tigers as she went four-for-six in Auburn's two wins with six RBIs including a bases-loaded double and four RBI against UCLA. Brandi Melero had a three-run homer and drove in four against UCLA. She was three-for-three. Estell and Kasey Cooper also had RBIs for the Tigers.
Wallace had a big day, going 4-for-6 with six RBIs, including a bases-loaded double and four RBIs against UCLA. Brandi Melero hit a 3-run homer (11th) and drove in four against UCLA. The Tigers also got RBIs from Estell and Kasey Cooper.
“I'm extremely proud of the fight. They never quit,” Myers said. “These kids were not going to be denied. They came here for a reason. They came here to win.
“You saw the determination.”
Auburn trailed UCLA 5-0 in the top of the third, but Auburn immediately scored six in the bottom of the inning. UCLA tied it at 6-6 in the fourth, then Auburn took the lead on a Melero 3-run home run in the bottom of that inning. That held up until two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Maddy Jelenicki hit a 2-run homer for a 10-9 lead. It was her ninth homer of the season.
The crazy third inning — in which the two teams combined for 11 runs and six pitchers appeared — saw Auburn go up on a Cooper RBI walk, a Melero RBI single, a wild pitch and a Wallace bases-clearing double.
Haley Fagan almost won it for Auburn in the bottom of the eighth when she flew out on a drive that was caught at the wall with the bases loaded. UCLA left the go-ahead run on third in the top of the ninth before Auburn came back in the tenth to win a game that seemed to never end.
Emily Carosone opened the inning with a walk before Cooper singled to center field. Melero singled to left loading the bases before Estell walked for the third time in the game and give the Tigers a win they won't forget in a season that has been filled with firsts.
Auburn used three pitchers with Marcy Harper (13-5) getting the win pitching four and one-third innings, allowing 10 hits and five runs. Lexi Davis hurled five and one-third innings, giving up five hits and three runs. Rachael Walters, who fanned five of seven batters in the earlier win against Tennessee, worked one-third of inning, allowing two hits. The three hurled 216 pitches.
Carda took the loss for the Bruins and hurled eight and two-third innings, allowing 10 hits and 10 runs. She walked 12 batters and struck out seven in suffering her eighth loss of the year against 32 wins. Ta'amillo Selina hurled one-third of an inning and allowed one hit and one run.
Carda hurled 205 pitches and faced 47 batters. She also had three hits in five at-bats and was the only Bruin with at least three hits. The Bruins collected 17 hits but left 17 runners on base while Auburn stranded nine runners.
|Bill Plummer A graduate of Indiana University, Ind. Bill has been involved in softball for more than four decades. For 30years he was a fixture at the ASA National Office as a communications coordinator, manager of the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame and historian. In addition, he also served as the editor of the ASA official newsletter, The Inside Pitch, and as the Trade Show Manager. He has written widely about the sport and has contributed to 14 books. In 2009, he authored “The Game America Plays.” In 2012, he co-authored “Best of the Best-Women’s Fastpitch.” In 2014, ” A Series of Their Own. The History of the Women's College World Series.” He has been elected to five halls of fame, including the ASA National. In 1996, he served as the Information Manager for the debut of softball in the Olympics.|
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