Game 1: Michigan 5, Missouri 4
The Missouri Tigers suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines to eliminate them from the Super Regionals. Despite taking a four run lead into the top of the seventh inning, the Tigers were not able to contain a four-run rally by the Wolverines that was sparked by a mishandled pop-up to shortstop Sami Fagan.
Despite the late game theatrics, it was a relatively low scoring affair for the majority of the game, which one could expect with Paige Lowary and Megan Betsa pitching for their respective clubs. The scoring started in the second inning by way of a Lindsay Montemarano shot to dead center field, her second in as many days to take a 1-0 Michigan lead.
The score remained 1-0 thanks to some great defense being played by both teams until the fifth inning, where Betsa appeared to be shaken up following one of her pitches. A baserunning blunder by Regan Nash proved to be costly however, as Missouri outfielder Kolby Romaine was able to get on base, setting the table for the speedy Taylor Gadbois to deliver only her seventh XBH of the year scoring Romaine from first. That is as far as the scoring would go for the fifth however, as the game was tied at one apiece going into the 6th.
The momentum the Tigers picked up in the fifth inning seemed to carry over to the sixth, as Fagan slapped a leadoff double. After an intentional walk to Chloe Rathburn, the Michigan coaching staff opted to bring in drop ball pitcher Sara Driesenga in an attempt to induce ground-ball outs with two runners on the base paths. Missouri freshmen Rylee Pierce however had plans of her own. Pierce launched a clutch two-out three-run homer to give Mizzou a 4-1 lead heading into the seventh.
Three outs away from forcing a decisive Game 3, Missouri experienced a string of extremely unfortunate events, starting with the aforementioned misplay of a routine popup to Fagan at short, with the sun obstructing her view. That is all the Wolverines needed to begin their rally. From there, Player of the Year candidate Sierra Romero drove in a run with a sacrifice fly ball hit to right to make the score 4-2. It didn't end there however, as two singles from Kelly Christener and Kelly Susala tied the score at four. Then, on a 2-2 pitch to Terra Blanco, a pitch that looked to either have been fouled off, or hit Blanco, was a ruled a wild pitch, scoring Christner from third as Michigan took a 5-4 lead going into the bottom of the seventh.
Missouri fought back hard to take the lead with the speedy Gadbois stealing second and third with only one out to put the lady tigers in a position to tie the game. However, Betsa, who did not have her best stuff today, was able to get a huge strikeout to take away the potential for a tag-up run, and then got Amanda Sanchez to ground out to first, ending the game, and Missouri's chances of a Women's College World Series appearance.
Auburn 4, Arizona 1
-- by Erich Hilkert
Auburn staved off elimination before the home crowd at Jane B. Moore Field Sunday 4-1 in a must-win Game 2. The Tigers must defeat Arizona a second time today in the best-of-three series with the winner advancing to the Women's College World Series while the losing team faces the end of its season.
Arizona scored first in the top of the second inning when Alexis Dotson earned an RBI with a double to left center field, scoring Nancy Bowling. Bowling led off the second inning for the Wildcats, reaching base after getting hit by a pitch.
Auburn struck back in a big way in the fourth inning, amassing four runs.
Haley Fagan scored Emily Carosone and Bree Fornis with a double to center field. Carosone led off the inning with a single while advancing to second base on an interference call. Fornis was the pinch runner for catcher Carlee Wallace, who reached base after getting hit by a pitch.
Madi Gipson kept the momentum with a single to right field. Arizona opted to pull starting pitcher Danielle O'Toole after just 3.1 innings of work. In all, she allowed four earned runs in the second game of the series.
O'Toole earned the win in the circle in game one, allowing just two hits, although the Tigers compiled three runs with two of the runs resulting from two Arizona fielding errors in the third inning.
Relief pitcher Taylor McQuillin replaced O'Toole, allowing both inherited runners, pinch runner Morgan Podany and right fielder Madi Gipson, to score on a Tiffany Howard single to center field.
While the Tigers committed two errors in the field, Arizona was unable to capitalize.
Auburn received a strong pitching performance by Mikayla Martin, who improved to 14-3 for the season. She pitched seven innings, allowing just one earned run and five hits while notching two strikeouts. Martin managed to overcome an error in both the fourth and sixth inning by recording groundouts. In fact, Martin recorded 15 of 21 total outs by way of groundout.
Game 3: Auburn 6, Arizona 1
--- by Michael Tate
After an exciting 4-1 win for Auburn over Arizona in Game 2, the Tigers were on the prowl even more so in the decisive Game 3, winning the eventual series-clincher 6-1 behind winning pitcher Kaylee Carlson.
The scoring kicked off for Auburn during the bottom of the first inning. Tiffany Howard reached first base after being hit by a pitch then reached second after a wild pitch. Kasey Cooper doubled to left while also knocking in Howard for the first run of the game. Next up Emily Carosone was hit by a pitch taking first base. Carlee Wallace then flied out to the right field helping Cooper score the final run of the inning.
After a scoreless second inning Auburn focused on increasing their 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Cooper singled through the right side and Carosone doubled down the infield line advancing Cooper to third in the process. Wallace was next up hitting an infield single to the third baseman that was mishandled and in the process Caroso and Cooper scored bringing the Auburn lead to 4-0.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Haley Fagan hit a solo homer for Auburn in the bottom of the fifth inning leading Auburn to a 5-0 lead.
During the top of the sixth inning Arizona finally found some offensive production, as Arizona's only run of the game came after Nancy Bowling singled to drive in Mo Mercado, making the score 5-1 Auburn.
Carosone singled up the middle helping score Howard in the process for the final run of the game in the sixth inning.
With the win Auburn advances to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.