Photo by Jason Caldwell

Florida's Power Hitting Sparked Florida to An 8-5 SEC Softball Victory at Auburn

The Gators used three home runs to get past the Auburn softball Tigers on Sunday.

Emily Carosone (above) runs the bases and avoids a ground ball on her way to second base.

Auburn, Ala.--For a second consecutive outing Auburn’s pitching staff struggled and Florida took advantage for an 8-5 comeback victory over the Tigers on Sunday evening at Jane B. Moore Field.

The Gators, who beat the Tigers with a pair of two-run homers on Saturday night, did the same thing with a three-run homer in the fourth inning that was the winning margin.

Florida improved to 26-0 and 2-0 in the SEC while Auburn dropped to 22-3 overall and 0-2 in the league.

Auburn coach Clint Myers said he was mostly pleased with his team’s hitting and defense, but the pitching left a lot to be desired. The Gators finished with 11 hits against three AU pitchers, who combined for five bases on balls. “To beat a great team you have to have two out of the three,” Myers said. “We just gave them too many free passes. Look at the number of walks that have scored in the first two games.

"They are too good a ball club to give them free opportunities," Myers said. "If they are going to get something they have got to earn it. The solo home run doesn’t hurt us nearly as much as the three-run job.”

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Clint Myers and the Tigers will try to avoid a series sweep on Monday night.

Auburn managed seven hits against two Florida pitchers, but had just three in the final four innings off of Aleshia Ocasio, who improved her record to 9-0.

“I am pleased that we hit the ball harder and had better approaches at the plate,” Myers said. “We did a better job of staying in the zone, but we have to do more with the bottom part of our order.”

The only batter not in the top four of the lineup who had a hit was right fielder Madi Gipson.

After starting pitcher Marcy Harper put the Gators down one-two-three in the top of the first inning it did not take long for the Tigers to take their first lead of the series.

Emily Carosone, the second batter UF pitcher Kelly Barnhill faced, hit a line drive home run over the right field fence to make the score 1-0.

The Gators tied the game in the second inning on back-to-back singles and a double by Taylore Fuller, but the Tigers used a double play on a line drive to Carosone to help end the threat.

The Gators pulled ahead in the third inning with a double by Kirsti Merritt and a home run by Amanda Lorenz.

Auburn rallied in the bottom half of the inning with three runs to pull ahead 4-3.

Kasey Cooper tied the contest with a home run to right field to score Tiffany Howard, who singled. The next batter, Carlee Wallace, put the Tigers on top with a long home run over the left field fence.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Kasey Cooper drove home a pair of runs for the Tigers on Sunday.

Back-to-back walks by Harper led to a pitching change for the Tigers in the fourth inning. Rachael Walters was greeted by a home run to right center field by Nicole DeWitt to put the Gators on top 6-4.

Auburn added a single run on an RBI single by Carlee Wallace in the sixth inning, but a base running error and Kasey Cooper being called out at the plate on a wild pitch helped the Gators prevent the inning from being a bigger one for the home team.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Carlee Wallace drove home two runs for the Tigers.

Florida stretched the lead back to three runs with a solo homer by Taylore Fuller to make it 8-5. 

The series concludes with a 6 p.m. CST contest on Monday that will be televised by the SEC Network. Kaylee Carlson, who has not pitched yet in the series, is expected to start for the Tigers.

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