2015 Women’s College World Series: Day 4 Wrap Up

2015 Women's College World Series Logo (NCAA.com)
2015 Women’s College World Series Logo (NCAA.com)

2015 Women’s College World Series: Day 4 Wrap Up

Sunday was another exciting day of games at the 2015 Women’s Womenp’s College World Series. The 2015 NCAA Division I Softball Tournament Championship Series is now set after the two semifinal games.

Recaps for the Women’s College World Series on Thursday can be found here, Friday can be found here, and Saturday’s here. The schedule for the Championship Series can be found here.

#4 Auburn Versus #1 Florida – Game 11 Recap

A walk off single by the Florida Gators’ Nicole DeWitt in the bottom of the ninth defeated the Auburn Tigers 3-2. It was a great game between the top two SEC teams that eliminated Auburn.

The first pitch of the game hit Emily Carosone in the elbow to put her on base, but she was thrown out at second two batters later on a fielder’s choice. Carlee Wallace drew a walk to put runners on first and second, but Florida’s Kathlyn Medina made a nice jumping grab at shortstop to end the top of the first.

Florida’s Kelsey Stewart hit a lead off double to the left field gap and barely slid in to second in front of the tag. After a pop out to short right field, Stewart tagged up to third and a nice defensive back up prevented Stewart from scoring on a poor throw. She would not make it home as a ground out to third and pop out in foul territory ended the Gators’ inning.

The top of the second began with a lead off walk for Morgan Estell. A pop out, error by Medina at shortstop, and an error by Taylore Fuller loaded the bases for Auburn. Carosone then lined out to center and Kirsti Merritt threw home to get Estell with a great tag applied by Aubree Munro. That double play ended the frame with the game still scoreless.

In the bottom of the second, Florida’s Bailey Castro was hit by a pitch with one out, but Kayli Kvistad grounded into a double play to end the inning, as the excellent defensive plays continued for both teams.

Kasey Cooper led off the top of the third with a double over the left fielder’s head and she moved up to third after two ground outs. Haley Fagan drew a two out walk to put runners on the corners, but a fly out to center ended another threat for Auburn.

Florida had a chance as well in the bottom of the third. A one out single up the middle by Justine McLean was followed by a wild pitch, walk, fly out, and another walk to load the bases with two outs. A wild pitch allowed McLean to steal home though she just beat the tag to give the Gators a 1-0 lead. A foul out ended the third inning with the first run across the plate.

Auburn had a chance to respond in the top of the fourth. Both Jade Rhodes and Mckenzie Kilpatrick singled up the middle to start the inning before a strike out by Tiffany Howard. Another walk to by Haeger, this time to Carosone, loaded the bases with only one out for Auburn. After a strike out, Branndi Melero hit a single up the middle to bring home Rhodes and Victoria Draper to give Auburn a 2-1 lead. Wallace then hit a flare single to center field, but Merritt threw out a second Auburn runner at home in Carosone to keep the game at 2-1 after the top of the fourth.

The Gators wasted no time to tie the game. On a full count, Taylore Fuller hit a laser over the left field wall to lead off the inning to make it a 2-2 game. Castro then lined out on a beautiful snag by Kasey Cooper at third. The Gators put runners on first and second following the line out, but could not reclaim the lead. After four innings, it was all tied at two apiece.

Auburn began the sixth with a lead off single from Howard, but a fly out and two ground outs kept one runner stranded on base. The Gators got a one out walk from Bailey Castro, but a double play ended their chance in the bottom of the sixth as well. The game went to the seventh tied at two apiece.

Auburn had a rally in the top of the seventh. A one out double by Haley Fagan hit the left line, but a ground out on the next play really hurt Auburn’s chances to score. A strike out by Rhodes ended the inning for Auburn and put Florida in position to win in the bottom of the seventh.

Florida started the bottom of the seventh with a lead off walk by Aubree Munro after a nine pitch at bat. She was pinch ran for with Chelsea Herndon and Auburn’s Lexi Davis came out of the circle for Rachael Walters. McLean sacrificed Herndon to second with a bunt and only one out. Kelsey Stewart struck out and the Tigers opted to bring Davis back in. The Gators opted to pinch hit for Nicole DeWitt for Briana Little. Little flew out for the final out and Auburn was in another extra inning game.

Tiffany Howard singled to left field between third and short with one out to start another rally. However, a foul out to third and line out to right field stranded Howard to give Florida another chance for a walk off.

Lauren Haeger led off the bottom of the eighth with a four pitch walk to represent the winning run. Francesca Martinez came in to pinch run for Haeger after the walk. Kirsti Merritt, a defensive hero twice earlier in the game, flew out to center field for the first out. Fuller hit a rope to left field that was just foul and she then walked two pitches later. Castro also drew a walk to load the bases with Kayli Kvistad at the plate. Kvistad hit a rope to center that was caught and Morgan Estell threw home to nail Martinez at the plate to keep the game going.

Wallace hit a one out single to center field in the top of the ninth to get another Auburn rally started. After a strike out, Estell hit a single to shortstop that could not get Estell in time to put runners on first and second with two outs. Haeger came back to strike out Rhodes to move the game to the bottom of the ninth still tied at 2.

After two pitches in the bottom of the ninth, Lexi Davis was removed in favor of Marcy Harper. Munro was able to draw a lead off walk to get a Florida rally underway. McLean tried to sacrifice, but Munro was thrown out at second while McLean reached first. A wild pitch allowed McLean to reach second, but Stewart popped out to short for the second out. DeWitt replaced Briana Little and it paid off with a bloop single to left field that scored McLean for the 3-2 win.

Florida Moves on to the Women’s College World Series Championship Series for the fourth time in the last seven years. They will face either LSU or Michigan on Monday night.

#5 LSU Versus #3 Michigan – Game 12 Recap

The Michigan Wolverines came back from a two run deficit against LSU to win 6-3 on Sunday. They will move to the Championship Series to face the Florida Gators.

LSU was able to get on the board first in the top of the second inning. A one out walk drawn by Kellsi Kloss was followed up with a single by Sandra Simmons to put runners on the corners. Constance Quinn then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to put LSU up 1-0. Simmons stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch while Sydney Bourg was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners again. The Wolverines got a strike out to end the inning and limit the damage to just one run.

Michigan had a rally of their own in the bottom of the second, but it did not result in any runs scored. Kelsey Susalla drew a lead off walk in four pitches, Lauren Sweet reached on a ground out, and Lindsay Montemarano put runners on first and second with one out. A pop out to second base was followed up with a wild pitch and walk to load the bases. Abby Ramirez flied out to left to leave the bases loaded and LSU leading 1-0 after two innings.

LSU was able to start a two out rally in the top of the third. Bianka Bell reached on an error by Sierra Romero at second while Sahvanna Jaquish was hit by a pitch two put runners on first and second. The side was retired on a grounder down the first base line to keep the game at a one run gap.

The Wolverines were able to tie the game in the bottom of the second. Sierra Romero took a two-two pitch to left field and it hit off the left field foul pole to tie the game at one apiece. The next two Michigan batters went down in order and the third inning ended with the score at 1-1.

LSU’s Sandra Simmons started the fourth inning off with a lead off bunt single and used her speed to beat the throw. A strike out by Quinn allowed Simmons to steal second. Bourg then hit a single to center field and advanced to second to put runners on second and third with only one out. A.J. Andrews was able to draw a walk to load the bases, which brought up Bailey Landry.

Landry hit an opposite field double to left field to drive home two runs and give LSU a 3-1 lead. Megan Betsa came out for Michigan while Haylie Wagner took over in the circle. Wagner was able to strike out Bell, but the damage was already done. Michigan trailed 3-1 going into the bottom of the fourth.

The Wolverines were able to tie the game up again in the bottom of the fourth. Montemarano hit a one out double and scored two batters later with a single to center field by Tera Blanco that one-hopped into Andrews’ glove. Ramirez hit a single to center while Nikki Wald pinch ran for Blanco. Wald then stole second and a poor throw to third allowed her to score to tie the game at three. Ramirez stole second and Sierra Lawrence walked to bring up Romero. She hit a sharp grounder to first to end the inning with the game knotted at three.

Despite a lead off single by Jaquish, LSU was unable to get a runner beyond first with Wagner striking out the last two batters of the inning. Michigan went down one, two, three in the bottom of the fifth.

LSU had another base runner on base after a two out single by Andrews. Landry came up and strike out to finish the inning, but for good measure the Wolverines also threw Andrews out at second as she tried to steal second.

Michigan was able to take their first lead in the bottom of the sixth. Montemarano drew a lead off walk and after a fielder’s choice, Blanco singled to left field. A bloop single by Ramirez in between the center fielder, shortstop, and second loaded the bases. Sierra Lawrence stepped up and hit the first pitch she saw down the left field line to bring home two runners for a 5-3 lead.

Carley Hoover was replaced by Allie Walljasper in the pitching circle. Romero hit a grounder shortstop that was thrown home to get Ramirez at the plate. Runners were on the corners with two outs when Romero tried to steal second. She appeared to be in a run down, but Lawrence on third decided to try her luck as well and the LSU fielder tripped, which allowed both runners to be safe for a 6-3 Michigan lead after six innings.

Bianka Bell drew a lead off walk for LSU but was thrown out at second on a ground out. Jaquish was then thrown out at second on another ground ball to put LSU down to their final out with Kailey McCasland at first. A ground out back to Wagner ended the game for LSU.

Haylie Wagner’s performance after replacing Megan Betsa in the top of the fourth was key. Wagner threw 3 1/3 innings while giving up only two hits, one walk, and striking out five batters.

Michigan will take on the Florida Gators in the Championship Series starting on Monday. The best of three series will conclude on Tuesday or Wednesday depending on the winning team in the first two games.

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