OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Four Auburn batters were hit by pitches in the first inning - and it didn't hurt one bit.
Not when Auburn could use the base runners to jump out to a quick lead on the way to a 10-3 victory over UCLA on opening day of softball's College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium on Thursday.
The Tigers, who scored five in the first, jumped on the winner's bracket and will play at 6 p.m. Friday against Georgia, which beat Florida State 5-4 in Thursday's first game. Auburn swept Georgia in a three-game series during the regular season.
Auburn, winning for the 10th time in its last 11 games, improved to 55-10. UCLA fell to 40-15-1.
The decisive first inning went something like this...
Hit by pitch Hit by pitch Hit by pitch Hit by pitch
Oh, there was a hit mixed in there. And three outs. But also those five Auburn runs. Jade Rhodes got an RBI when she was hit. Haley Fagan drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. Whitney Jordan drove in a run when she was hit by a pitch. And two runs scored when Victoria Draper's grounder was mishandled.
Ten Tigers came to the plate in the first.
Emily Carosone drove in two more in the third for an easy-as-you please 7-0 lead.
Mysha Sataraka hit a three-run homer to cut Auburn's lead to 7-3 in the fourth. But Fagan's RBI double in the bottom of the inning made it 8-3. Kasey Cooper made it 10-3 with a two-run double in the sixth.
Kaylee Carlson started and improved to 17-3 on the season.