AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn's patience paid off with an NCAA softball regional victory Saturday, thanks to Emily Carosone's hitting and a pair of bases-loaded walks on the way to a 6-1 victory over USC Upstate at Jane B. Moore Field.
Auburn walked nine times, and Carosone was hit for the 82nd time in her career in the game that sent the Tigers to Sunday's championship round. The Tigers were to learn their opponent later Saturday from the trio of possibilities of Upstate, Jacksonville State or Oregon State. Jacksonville State played Oregon State in Saturday's second game.
If Auburn wins Sunday, the Tigers will host a Super Regional next weekend.
Auburn scored two in the second inning on Carosone's 2-run double, then scored two more in the fourth on bases-loaded walks to Kasey Cooper and Carlee Wallace.
Auburn led 4-1 when Haley Fagan's RBI double in the seventh provided the Tigers with some insurance. It was her first hit after returning from knee surgery that cost her the entire regular season. Whitney Jordan drove in another in the sevneth.
Kaylee Carlson went the distance in improving to 16-1.
Auburn improved to 51-9. USC Upstate fell to 43-14, and was set to play against Saturday night against the loser of Saturday's second game between Oregon State and Jacksonville State.
Auburn can wrap up the regional title in Sunday's 1:30 p.m. game. If the Tigers lose that one, an if-necessary game will follow 20 minutes later.