Haley Fagan (above) led the Tigers at the plate.
Tuscaloosa, Ala.--Alabama avoided a sweep by the Auburn softball Tigers as the Tide took a 3-2 victory on Sunday as the visitors stranded 10 runners on base.
Auburn finished the regular season with a 45-9 overall record and a 17-7 SEC mark. With Tennessee defeating Texas A&M two out of three games over the weekend, Auburn moved ahead of the Aggies to finish the regular season in second place by Florida and the Tigers will be the No. 2 seed for the SEC Tournament.
Auburn will play the winner of the Kentucky vs. South Carolina No. 7 vs. No. 10 game at 4 p.m. CDT on Thursday.
Alabama improved to 40-15 with a 12-11 league record.
Alexis Osorio (20-7) led the Tide, pitching out of bases loaded jams in the first two innings. She struck out 14, walked six, gave up three hits, hit a batter and two other AU runners reached base on errors in her 6 2/3 innings.
AU assistant coach Hunter Veach said, “We always preach that with a runner on third and less than two outs that is our recipe and we are going to score a lot of runs in that situation. We just didn’t capitalize on it. We had strikeouts in those situations. You have to put the ball in play.”
Auburn took the lead in the third inning on a home run over the left field fence by senior shortstop Haley Fagan, her first hit of the series.
Alabama answered with three runs in the bottom of the third inning off of starting pitcher Ashlee Swindle, who took the loss to fall to 2-1.
The Tide pulled even with a two-out RBI single by Gabby Callaway with two outs. Two more runs came home on a double by Marisa Runyon to end the day for the freshman right-hander, who allowed three runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Makayla Martin got the call from the bullpen and ended the threat with a strikeout. She finished the game allowing no runs on three hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Auburn cut the gap to 3-2 with another home run by Fagan. This one was a line drive over the right field wall in the fifth inning.
The Tigers put two runners on base in the sixth inning when Victoria Draper reached base on what was ruled an error by the pitcher. Kasey Cooper was then walked for the fourth time in the game, but Carlee Wallace popped out to end the threat.
Clint Myers, head coach of the Tigers, said, I thought Makayla threw the ball well and Ashlee made just one mistake. Haley Fagan had a phenomenal day with two home runs. We’ve got to do a better job of putting the ball in play, but we won two out of three for the first time ever at Alabama.
“We’re moving in the right direction getting ready for postseason," Myers added. We’re excited to head to the SEC Tournament and see what we can do.”
The Tigers will return to action on Thursday in the second round of the SEC Tournament that will be played in Knoxville, Tenn.