Auburn beats UCLA 11-10 in 10 innings to stay alive in WCWS
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Auburn closed out the best day in program history a little later than expected.
Emily Carosone scored on Morgan Estell's bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Tigers an 11-10 victory over UCLA on Saturday night that kept them alive in the Women's College World Series.
Auburn had never even been to the event, and the Tigers lost their opener to LSU on Thursday. Facing elimination, the Tigers beat Tennessee early Saturday, then rallied from five runs down to beat UCLA in a four-hour game.
''You saw the determination,'' Auburn coach Clint Myers said. ''You saw the grit that they had. They grinded it out. We've been here since 9 o'clock this morning. And it's 13 hours. And I don't know about them, but I'm damn tired. And to go out there and perform - I didn't hear one person bitch or moan about being tired. The only thing they talked about was, `Hey, we got to win. We got to win.'''
Branndi Melero had three hits and four RBIs, and Carlee Wallace also drove in four runs for the Tigers. The 21 combined runs were the second-most in World Series history.
Auburn (56-10) will play Florida on Sunday for the right to play in the championship series. Auburn must win twice, while defending national champion Florida will need just one victory. The Tigers aren't worried about having enough energy for Sunday.
''We prepared for this stuff in the fall,'' Melero said. ''And we worked very hard, and we ran a lot to play long games like this. And I feel like we always play long games. Two games ain't nothing.''
UCLA pitcher Ally Carda gave it all she had against Auburn - she threw 205 pitches. But she walked 12, including two in the 10th inning.
''Not only is the season lost, but I was more mad that I didn't do it for everyone else,'' Carda said. ''So I was mad at myself for not being able to come up with better pitches. Walking people is not the way to do it in those kind of innings. So more so just mad at myself I didn't get it done for my team.''
Carda also had three hits and walked twice for the Bruins (51-13).
It was a game of rallies. Gabrielle Maurice's bases-loaded triple highlighted UCLA's five-run third inning, but Auburn came right back in the bottom of the inning. The Tigers loaded the bases with no outs, then scored twice. With the bases loaded again, Wallace doubled to clear the bases and put Auburn up 6-5.
Auburn extended its lead to 9-6 in the fourth on Melero's three-run homer.
With Auburn leading 9-7 in the seventh and UCLA batting, Maurice lined out, but Carda scored. Freshman Maddy Jelenicki's two-run homer put the Bruins ahead 10-9.
In the bottom of the inning, Wallace's double with no outs scored Haley Fagan to tie the game. Auburn had the winning run on third with one out, but hit into a double play.
Still, Auburn stayed focused, and now the Tigers have a chance to make more history.
''You look at the quality of games that we've played today alone, I mean, I think that they're ready,'' Myers said. ''I mean, tomorrow's another day, and we're going to be playing another quality team, but there's nothing about this team that surprises me anymore, because they are - they're here to win.''