Tigers Come Up Just Short In 5-4 Loss To FSU

Auburn came back from a 4-0 deficit to push #9 Florida State to the wire before falling 5-4 to the Seminoles.

Auburn, Ala.--Entering Wednesday night's game with #9 Florida State, the Auburn Tigers (13-2-1) had a 10-game winning streak and were hitting on all cylinders. Falling behind 4-0 early, Auburn mounted a furious comeback to get within 5-4 late in the game. Hitting a ball right at the FSU second baseman to end the sixth inning with the bases loaded and barely missing a game-winning home run in the seventh, the Tigers dropped the game but for Coach Clint Myers it was another positive step for his team.

"I thought we showed great character," Myers said. "I'm not disappointed. We fought. We didn't make an error. We didn't beat ourselves. There were a couple of things we have to do a little better, we have to stay with our plan, but we had chances to win that ballgame several times. We hit the ball pretty hard. If we can go up and have at-bats like that and learn from it then I think it was a good life lesson."

With talented sophomore Lexi Davis (7-1, 1.00 ERA) on the mound Auburn was hoping to get off to a good start against the powerful Seminoles. Instead, it was the other way around. Following a scoreless first inning Florida State struck for four runs in the second inning and added another in the third to take a commanding 5-0 lead with dominant pitcher Lacey Waldrop (7-1, 0.57) on the mound.

Held hitless the first four innings, Auburn finally got the offense started in the bottom of the fifth. Entering the game 3-4 on the season with two home runs, freshman Jenna Abbott led things off with a bomb over the right field wall for a solo shot. Getting a bead on Waldrop, Kelsey Bogaards worked a walk to keep things going for Myers' club.

Following a strikeout leadoff hitter Emily Carosone hit a sharp grounder to the Florida State baseman for what looked to be an easy force play but Bogaards stopped dead in her tracks forcing the second baseman into making a decision. Instead of just tagging the runner the throw was made to first. It was high, pulling the first baseman off the bag for the error. With veteran Morgan Estell at the plate Auburn was looking for a big hit, but instead she went down on strikes for the second out to bring freshman Kasey Cooper up.

Hitting .425 entering the game, Cooper singled up the middle to score a run and when Brandy Melero followed with a double just like that Auburn had cut the Florida State lead to 5-4 and had all the momentum.

That carried over to the sixth inning as the Tigers got a single from Abbott and another walk from Bogaards to get pinch hitter Austyn West to the plate with one out. Lifting a fly ball down the left field line for a single, West loaded the bases to put Auburn in business and bring Carosone to the plate. Jumping on the first pitch she hit a rocket directly at the Florida State second baseman for the out. The throw behind West at first base for the double play thwarted the Auburn rally to keep FSU up 5-4.

That's how things would end as Waldrop finished off the Tigers with a perfect seventh inning to earn her eighth win of the season.

This weekend No. 24 Auburn travels to Kissimmee, Fla., for the Diamond 9 Classic where the Tigers will face Oregon, Illinois State, Syracuse, Maryland and Radford. Now 16 games into his first season on the Plains, Myers said he would love to be undefeated at this point but he realizes his team is still a work in progress at the moment.

"After 16 games I wanted 16 wins, but I'm kind of a greedy old guy," Myers said. "We gave a game away with Notre Dame and we were one hit away from winning this ballgame. We're getting better and we're moving. We break the season down into thirds. Right now the first third of the season is to learn how to play. Tonight, if we can come back and play well against Oregon, this was a good life lesson because we learned. We tell them everyday that two things are going to happen, you're either going to get better or you're going to get worse. I think we got better tonight."

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