The No. 11 Tennessee softball team went 1-2 at No. 7 Auburn over the weekend. Tennessee’s struggles with hitting and pitching continued to be on display against the Tigers.
The teams opened the series on Thursday. In the first game, Auburn jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning. Tennessee answered when Scarlet McSwain hit a home run, but Auburn would add one more run in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-1 lead. The Tigers maintained a 4-1 lead until Tennessee’s Gretchen Aucoin hit a homer that would be UT’s only other run of the game.
The Vols, with Erin Gabriel at the mound, lost 6-2. Gabriel allowed three runs and recorded three strikeouts. Cheyanne Tarango came on in relief and pitched just over an inning. Auburn’s Lexi Davis pitched five innings and recorded one strikeout, also allowing two walks and two earned runs. McSwain finished 3-3 and Tory Lewis was 2-3 to lead Tennessee in hitting.
Friday, Tennessee evened the series with Auburn after an offensive explosion. Aucoin, Lewis, McSwain and Shaliyah Geathers all hit home runs in an 8-6 win. Aucoin started in the circle and pitched two innings giving up three runs and walking two. She also put Tennessee on top early with a two-run solo homer in the first inning. Rainey Gaffin earned the win after five innings of relief – striking out seven and allowing two earned runs.
McSwain went 2-4 with her home run and had three RBIs. Lewis finished 2-3 and hit an inside the park homer. Auburn did manage to take the lead in the third inning, but, the Vols took it back with a three run fourth inning.
Saturday was the rubber match between Tennessee and Auburn. The Vols got out of the gates early scoring six runs in the first inning. However, Auburn would take over from there – scoring nine runs over four innings, including five in the second. Tennessee rallied back in the fifth inning with three runs, but it was not enough as Auburn won 12-9 and claimed the series. In a game where offense was on display for both teams, Tennessee used four pitchers – Aucoin, Gabriel, Gaffin and Tarango.
Tennessee will host Eastern Kentucky on April 7 in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m.
Edited by Cody McClure
Sam Forman is the lead sports staff writer for the Tennessee Journalist and is a senior studying Journalism and Electronic Media with a focus on sports broadcasting and reporting. He has been with TNJN since the fall of 2014. He is also a DJ for WUTK 90.3 fm. and a member of the Rock Solid Sports team. Sam has spent six years marching in the Pride of The Southland Marching Band. When he is not covering or talking sports, you can find him outdoors, playing music or hanging out with friends. You can find him on twitter: @samWforman