AU Softball Crushes FAMU To Stay Alive

Auburn, Ala.—-Auburn dominated from beginning to end and advance to Saturday night with a win over Florida A&M.

The Auburn softball team was hoping to get their first ever NCAA Regional Tournament win on Friday against Florida State. Even though that didn't happen, the host Tigers were finally able to get that monkey off their backs with a dominating 11-3 victory over the Florida A&M Lady Rattlers on Saturday afternoon that eliminated Florida A&M and kept the Tigers' hopes of winning the regional alive.

In a game that was called after six innings due to the Tigers having an eight run lead, Auburn was able to bring their bats to life and got stellar pitching from sophomore Beth Dipietro to move on to face Florida State for a second day, this time in an elimination game at 7:30 p.m.

"I just felt like they played well," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said following the victory. "We came out and stroked the ball and that was good to see. We have been a little flat lately, but Paige got the ball rolling and once we got that monkey off our back it seemed to kind of flow, which is what we were hoping for."

Holly Currie went deep for the Tigers.

Deese went to Beth Dipietro in the circle for the Tigers and the sophomore was dominating through five innings throwing one hit shutout softball. After the Tigers took an 11-0 lead in the top of the sixth, Dipietro had a tough bottom of the sixth giving up her only three runs of the game on three hits, but it was way too little, way too late for the Lady Rattlers.

The Tigers' coach noted that she just felt like Dipietro provided the best match-up against the Lady Rattlers. "Well, she throws very well to left handers and they had four in their lineup," Deese explained. "We were going to work her in there and we knew we were going to have to go two today so it was just a natural decision."

Deese added that the sophomore, who moved to 23-6 overall and 11-1 at Jane B. Moore Field with the win, was an even easier choice after she had a tough outing on Friday night. "That is her spirit right there," the coach said. "If she has a bad outing or what she considers a bad outing she is going to turn it around next time."

The Tigers' hitters were finally able to get their bats working in the top of the second inning. Paige Jones leadoff with a rocket single that hit off the bottom of the wall in left center. Then, with Brittany Scott pinch running at first, Lolani Alvarez laid down a bunt that moved Scott to second, and on the fielders choice, Lady Rattlers' pitcher Monique Mattingly's throw to first was too high and Alvarez was safe and Scott advanced to third with no outs in the inning.

After Amy Shaw was unable to bunt Scott in from third and was tagged out just out if the batters box, third baseman Robin Martin laid down a perfect bunt up the first baseline that scored Scott to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead, their first of the tournament.

Jones said that her hit really seemed to help her teammates relax and get into a groove for the game. "We are a team that sticks close together, so when one of us starts hitting we all start hitting. That is just how our offense has been, we are either all hitting or no one is hitting. So, it was good to get things started."

The Auburn bats really got hot in the fourth inning as the Tigers put up five runs on four hits, some aggressive base running and one Florida A&M error to blow the game wide open.

In the sixth, the Tigers went on another five run outburst that was capped by a two-run shot over the wall in right center by Holly Currie.

At the plate the Tigers were led by Currie, who was 1-3 with three RBI and a run scored, Sara Dean went 2-3 with two runs scored and an RBI, Jones added two hits a run and an RBI and Robin Martin added a run and an RBI as well.

Next up for the Tigers is a rematch against Florida State, this time in an elimination match-up. Jones added that she feels like herself and her teammates will be ready to make-up for Friday night's performance against the Seminoles in the game that will start at 7:30 p.m.

"We want some redemption," Jones said "We didn't feel like we played our best game against the yesterday so we are looking to go out there and try to get our pride back tonight."

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