April 9, 2005
AUBURN, Ala. - The fourth-ranked Tennessee softball team fell in game two of a Saturday doubleheader to No. 22 Auburn, 3-1. The Lady Vols took the opener, 5-0, and the teams will play the rubber match of the series at noon CDT on Sunday.
The Tigers took the early advantage with two runs in the Auburn first. Following a pair of two-out walks, Auburn first baseman Paige Jones hit a single to left. Lady Vol leftfielder Katherine Card's throw to home on the play was about to be cut off when it hit the Auburn runner advancing from second to third. The legal deflection gave AU runners at second and third. The next ball hit was a grounder to UT shortstop Lindsay Schutzler, which arrived just as the Tiger runner, who was advancing from second to third, passed in front of her. Distracted, Schutzler could not make the play cleanly and Auburn plated its second run of the inning.
The Lady Vols got a run back in third when Schutzler smashed the first pitch of the frame out of the ballpark and over the center field fence. UT threatened to tie the score and came tantalizingly close when junior third baseman Kristi Durant, who had walked and advanced to second on a bases on balls issued to freshman first baseman Tonya Callahan, rounded third and headed home on a single to the left-center gap by Card. She beat the throw home, but was tagged out after missing the plate maneuvering around the catcher blocking her path.
In the Auburn fourth and fifth innings, Tigers reached second but Lady Vol pitcher Megan Rhodes was able to get out of each jam unscathed. In the Tiger sixth, however, pitcher Holly Currie hit her team-leading 12th home run of the season. The Lady Vols were unable to rally in the ensuing half inning and Auburn tied the series at one game apiece.
Even with the setback, the Lady Vols have won 28-of-31 contests and bring 44-6 overall and 12-3 Southeastern Conference marks into Sunday's contest with Auburn. The Tigers improve to 37-11, 11-5 in league action with their win.