No. 6 Florida shuts out No. 19 Auburn, wins on Lauren Haeger's walkoff
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Sixth-ranked Florida outlasted No. 19 Auburn, 1-0 (8 innings) on Sunday to sweep the teams’ three-game series. Lauren Haeger won the game with a walk-off single to score Kirsti Merritt. Florida (34-8, 8-7 SEC) climbed back over the .500 mark in league play with the win against the Tigers (31-9-1, 6-6 SEC). Hannah Rogers pitched a four-hit shutout with one walk and three strikeouts to run her record to 16-6 on the season.
Both teams had a hit in the first inning, but each defense turned a double play to erase the baserunners. Auburn had a leadoff single in the second, but shortstop Kathlyn Medina turned a 6-3 double play to retire the Tigers. Taylor Schwarz walked with two outs in the bottom of the frame, but she was stranded at first.
A hit batter and a walk gave Auburn two baserunners with two outs in the third before Medina threw home to cut down the runner trying to score from second to end the threat. She then led off the bottom of the inning with a single up the middle before Justine McLean walked. Merritt reached on an error to load the bases, but a double play ended the inning.
The Tigers had a leadoff single in the fourth, but Medina combined with catcher Aubree Munro to catch the runner stealing for the first out. Two foulouts retired Auburn. Stephanie Tofft led off the bottom of the inning with a bunt single and Schwarz drew a one-out walk, but the Gators were unable to push a run across.
Rogers retired the Tigers in order in the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, McLean beat out a single to short and advanced to third on two groundouts, but Auburn retired the Gators to keep the game scoreless. Both teams went down 1-2-3 in the sixth and seventh, sending the game into extra innings.
Auburn made three straight outs in the top of the eighth before Merritt hit a one-out double to right-center in the bottom of the frame. Haeger followed with a single to center field on a 3-2 pitch that plated Merritt from second to secure the sweep for Florida.