STARKVILLE Miss. --No. 4 seed Auburn pounced early on No. 5 seed Alabama in softball's Iron Bowl, winning 6-4 off of 10 hits and 10-28 hitting. The quarterfinal game started more than 16 hours later than its originally schedule time due to weather.
Despite finishing the regular season averaging only 3.5 runs over their final six games, the Tigers put five runs on the board in the first three innings, jumping out to an early 5-2 lead.
"That was our plan, get going, get on quick and score runs," said senior Emily Carosone. "That's what we did."
Starting Tide pitcher Sydney Littlejohn took an early exit after putting in a lot of work. Littlejohn threw 81 pitches, facing 20 batters in just the first 2.2 innings of play before Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy put in freshman left-hander Madi Moore.
Bama found success with Moore in the circle, holding Auburn batters scoreless with only three hits over 59 pitches. The Tide closed the gap with runs in the 5th and 6th innings but Auburn's defense held Alabama's batters to 7-26 hitting, leaving four Tide runners in scoring position.
Auburn head coach Clint Myers said they've got a resilient, eager closer in freshman Makayla Martin.
"She was an ice queen out there," said Myers. "I went out there and she said, 'Coach why did you come out here?' I told her, 'Hey, I had to get some exercise.' She's a tough kid. She wants the ball. She wants to pitch and as a coach that's what you want, somebody that's got their hand up."
NEXT UP: No. 4 seed Auburn faces No. 1 seed Florida today at 5:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm CT in the semifinal round of the 2016 SEC Softball Tournament.