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Victory Over Georgia Skyrockets Tigers Confidence



        Auburn players celebrate wild finish to victory over No. 4 Georgia

It's the top of the seventh with two outs, Auburn pitcher Angel Bunner is on the mound and needs one more out to seal an historic victory over number 4 Georgia. Bulldog infielder Megan Williams drives the next pitch to right field. The ball hits the top of the wall and bounces back into play. Wiggins rounding the bases, slides into third as the relay throw gets by third baseman Kyndall White. Wiggins then jumps up and darts for home but Angel has backed up third and scoops up the ball throwing out the runner at the plate.

Game over!  Number 24 Auburn beats No. 4 Georgia 3-2 at home.

With the win the Tigers take their first series win over a top 5 team in the history of the Auburn softball program. Auburn Coach Tina Deese said afterwards, "I can't recall an ending exactly like that. It was very exciting and just a great way to win a ballgame."

Angel Bunner not only threw out the potential tying run at home, she picked up the win. She threw four shutout innings of relief for starter Jenee Loree. The Tigers had to come from behind in a 2-0 first-inning deficit to get their second victory over Georgia in as many days.

Junior Lauren Schmaltz earned SEC Pitcher of the week honors for Saturday's performance when she pitched a five hit complete game downing the Dogs 3-1 at Jane B. Moore Field. The game marked Coach Deese's 800th career victory.

The Georgia series completed the last set of home games for the Tigers. The regular season ends this coming weekend on the road at Kentucky

Auburn's victory broke a seven game streak Georgia had going against the Tigers. Catcher Elizabeth Eisterhold said, "It boosts our morale a lot. These past couple games haven't been going too well for us."

That may be an understatement as the Tigers have lost six straight SEC games after the season had gotten off to the best start in school history going 20-2 at one point.
Auburn opened SEC play by sweeping Arkansas in the opening series and then South Carolina a week later. However, they now sit at 36-15 and 13-12 in the conference.

The main reason for the slide is simply the SEC is one of the toughest softball conferences in the nation with seven of the league's teams in the top 25. The only thing separating the SEC from the perennial power conference PAC 10 is an NCAA  national championship; and the SEC has been getting closer to that goal every year.

If the Tigers keep playing the way they did this past weekend, they should be receiving an invitation to play in their sixth NCAA Regional in the past seven years ... but first things first.

Hopefully the turn around against Georgia will be just what the Tigers need to carry them against Kentucky and into the SEC Tournament.

"This was a very good win for our team," Coach Deese said. "The players went all-out (all weekend) and never let up." Eisterhold added, "The wins just skyrockets our confidence."