COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AUBURN ATHLETICS) – No. 24 Auburn’s run through the 2019 SEC Tournament came to an end Friday afternoon when the Tigers fell to No. 9 Florida, 3-0, in the semifinals of the tournament.
“We are not pleased with the outcome of the game,” said Auburn softball head coach Mickey Dean. “But, I can tell you that I am pleased with the effort of our kids. I thought we played well, but we just ran up against a pitcher that was pretty dominate today.”
Kelly Barnhill (29-11) retired the first eight Auburn (37-19) batters to start the game, before Morgan Podany knocked a 1-1 pitch to right center for a double. Tannon Snow recorded the Tigers’ second hit of the game the following inning, but was erased on an inning-ending double play.
The duo of Podany and Tan. Snow were the only Tigers to reach base over the game’s remaining three innings when each drew a walk in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
“I thought both teams pitched really well,” Dean said. “They had one kid who had two hits and drove in all their runs and that’s really what the game came down to.”
Florida (43-15) took a two-run lead with one out in the bottom of the first when Hannah Adams sent a 3-2 pitch from Chardonnay Harris (10-6) over the right-centerfield fence. Harris retired the next six Gators, before Amanda Lorenz singled up the middle with one out in the bottom of the third. Kendyl Lindaman drew a walk to bring Adams back to the plate. Adams singled a 3-2 pitch to right-centerfield to score Lorenz and give the Gators a 3-0 lead.
Lexie Handley entered the pitching circle in relief of Harris after the play and the Akron, Ohio native struck out five batters and did not issue a walk en route to retiring the next 11 Florida batters in order.
“I was just trying to build off of (Chardonnay) and her performance this weekend, because she did so well,” Handley said. “I just wanted to give our team and opportunity to win, because we were not out of this game.”
With Auburn’s time in the SEC Tournament now finished, the Tigers now turn their attention to the NCAA Regional. Auburn will learn of its postseason fate during the NCAA Softball Selection Show on Sunday, May 12th at 8:00 p.m. CT.