What a game. What. A. Game.
All looked lost for a bit early on when UCLA picked up five runs in the top of the 3rd inning. However, we know better than to count these girls out.
Auburn responded with a six run inning of their own in the bottom half of the 3rd. UCLA tied it again at 6 before Branndi Melero launched a three run shot to give the Tigers the three run lead. UCLA picked up a run to make it 9-7. They picked up three more in the top of the 7th when all Auburn needed was three outs to win. Those three put UCLA in the lead 10-9.
Auburn then did what they do best. They responded with runs when they were needed most. Haley Fagan got it started. Then little freshman Carlee Wallace drove Fagan home to tie the game. It looked like Auburn had a great shot to end it then, but some poor base running decisions sent the game to extra innings.
Two and a half scoreless frames passed by until Auburn came to bat in the bottom of the 10th. Carosone walked and Cooper and Melero both singled to load the bases. Senior Morgan Estell came to the plate with a chance to end it. She had great vision and walked. Carosone came home. Auburn won the game.
This team has proven time and again that when it matters most, they will find ways to win. It's been an amazing run and it's not over, yet.
So here we are. Auburn will finally play the Florida Gators for the first time this season. Lose once and it's over. Win two and the Tigers advance to the big one.
The Gators were the SEC Regular Season champions by half a game over Auburn. They've cruised unbeaten through their Regional, Super Regional, and now all the way to the semi-finals. They've done so on the strength of one of the best players in the nation in Lauren Haeger.
Haegar is Florida's ace pitcher. She's got a 1.22 ERA for the season, which is good for 5th best in the nation. She doesn't allow too many hits, and very few long balls. She's also an excellent batter. She has 18 home runs on the season, tied for 33rd in the nation.
Florida is very good. It will be a tough feat for the Tigers to knock them off not just once, but twice. And it's going to take two wins over the Gators to advance. For the second day in a row the Tigers will hope to play two.
Survive and advance. Win or go home. It's all on the line against the defending WCWS Champions and one of the best teams in the nation.
I have every confidence this team can do it.
How to Watch, Stream, Listen (Game 1)
Time: 1pm EST / 12pm CDT
How to Watch, Stream, Listen (Game 2)*
Time: 7pm EST / 6pm CDT
*That should be "If Necessary," but SCREW THAT, IT'S GONNA HAPPEN, AM I RIGHT!?!?