Auburn Softball loses to Ole Miss, 6-2

Oxford, Miss.  –  The 24th-ranked Auburn softball team committed three errors five unearned runs as Ole Miss avoided the sweep with a 6-1 win over the Tigers.

Auburn dropped to 26-12 overall and 5-8 in the Southeastern Conference. Ole Miss improved to 15-18 overall and 3-8 in the SEC.

"This was a disappointing performance," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "Ole Miss took it to us and we made mistakes. We have to re-group and get back to work next week."

Lauren Schmalz started took the loss to fall to 7-5. Schmalz went the first two and one-third innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits with no walks and one strikeout. Jenee Loree relieved Schmalz in the third inning and went two and one-third innings, allowing two runs, both unearned, on one hit with no walks and no strikeouts. Angel Bunner pitched the final one and one-third innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits.

Kendall Bruning earned the complete-game win to improve to 12-9. Bruning allowed one run, earned, on two hits with five walks and five strikeouts.

The Rebels jumped out to the early lead, pushing two runs across in the bottom of the first. Corrine Doornberg reached on an error to open the Ole Miss half of the inning and took second on a bunt single by Brittany Broome. A sac bunt moved the runners to third and second with one out.

Londen Ladner brought Doornberg home with a ground ball in the hole at short. Lauren Guzman fielded the ball and fired home but was unable to register the out as Doornberg scored to give Ole Miss a 1-0 lead. With Broome at third and Ladner at first, Allison Brown lofted a sac fly to center to score Broome and give the Rebels a 2-0 lead.

Offensively, the Tigers could get nothing going against Bruning. Auburn stranded four runners through the first four innings including two runners in the second inning. The Tigers put the leadoff batter on the fourth when Brooke Lathan drew a walk. A wild pitch moved Lathan to second, but that would be as far as she advanced as Bruning ended the threat with a strikeout and ground out.

Auburn again put the leadoff batter on when Caitlin Schultze drew a walk in the fifth inning. Schultze was lifted for pinch-runner Kristyn Richards. After pinch-hitter Maris Medina flied out to left, Richards was gunned down attempting to steal second for the second out of the inning. Ole Miss ended the inning with a punch-out of Guzman.

Ole Miss added to its lead in the bottom of the fifth. A one-out walk to Broome followed by two-out walks to Ladner and Brown loaded the bases for the Rebels. Erinn Jayjohn then hit a ground ball to third that Schultze couldn't retrieve from her glove, allowing Broome to score and all runners advance on the error. Broome's run gave Ole Miss a 3-0 lead. The Rebels made it 4-0 when Marina Parra hit a ground ball to third that Schultze fielded, then made a diving attempt to tag third base but was unable to get the out, allowing Ladner to score the second run of the inning.

The Rebels continued to pad their lead in the sixth inning. After the first out of the inning, Doornberg, Broome and Cantillo each singled. Broome's single to left was booted by Medina, who stayed in for Stephens, which allowed Doornberg to score for a 5-0 lead. With Broome at third and Cantillo at first, the Rebels pulled the delayed steal of home after Cantillo broke for second and pulled the Tigers into a rundown. Broome scored easily for a 6-0 edge.

The Tigers broke the no-hit and shutout bid in the seventh when Amber Harrison doubled to the gap left-center. Caitlin Jordan followed with a sharp single up the middle that plated Harrison to make it a 6-1 game. Bruning would fan Schultze and force Medina into a game-ending double-play for the final 6-1 margin.