OKLAHOMA CITY -- Auburn softball trailed 7-0 before scoring 11 unanswered runs including a walkoff grand slam by Emily Carosone in the eighth inning to give the Tigers an epic 11-7 comeback victory over Oklahoma in the Women's College World Series. No. 4 Auburn (58-11) and No. 3 Oklahoma (56-8) play for the national championship on Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. on ESPN.
"You can't count us out," head coach Clint Myers said after the game. "We have a very, very good offense. Yeah, they're going to swing the bats, and if you've noticed, they like to do it late and make everything very exciting. But I'm extremely proud of them, to have this opportunity."
Oklahoma led 7-0 after their first two trips to the plate scoring six runs in the second inning before the Tigers offense got rolling in the bottom half of the frame.
The Tigers answered with five runs during the inning scoring all runs with two outs on the board. Catcher Carlee Wallace received the first of two bean balls the Tigers took to lead off the frame and a walk to Madi Gipson set the plate for Whitney Jordan.
Jordan, who committed two errors during the first two innings, redeemed herself by launching a three-run homer to left field to ignite the Tigers. The two-out rally picked up from there as Victoria Draper reached base on an error and came around to score on Tiffany Howard's triple.
Junior Kasey Cooper drove in Howard with an RBI single to break the school record for RBI in a season with a single through the right side. Emily Carosone took her 85th career hit by pitch to conclude the inning.
The Tigers next scoring barrage came courtesy of Kasey Cooper's 21st homerun of the year in the fourth inning as she brought Howard home on her 83rd RBI of the year.
Tiffany Howard provided the catch of year for the Auburn Tigers as she robbed a home run in left field, reaching over the wall and keeping the two-run homer from leaving the yard and keep the score level at 7-7. Howard also batted 4-for-5 scoring three runs in the game.
"I've literally dreamed that my entire life," Howard said. "I'm not even kidding I dreamed that exact picture and everything. We've worked on it so much. I'm talking about we would have bruises on our arms working on the wall in practice, so we've done it a gazillion times, so I knew if I could find the wall and get up and put a glove on it, I knew I could catch it."
Sophomore Kaylee Carlson started for Auburn and lasted 1.0 innings as she struggled pitching to contact giving up seven runs, four earned off five hits. The rest of the staff picked up the righty as Rachael Walters entered the ballgame in relief. The senior was more than solid as she shut down the damage during the second and went the next 5.0 innings without allowing a run keeping the Tigers hopes alive.
Freshman Makayla Martin (15-3) entered the game in the seventh and pitched a perfect next two innings before Carosone's homer lifted the Tigers to victory.
It was the second time this year Auburn overcame a seven-run (vs. Indiana, March 4) deficit for the largest comeback in program history. The seven-run comeback was the largest in WCWS history. The Tigers picked up their sixth walkoff-win of the season improving to 5-1 in extra-inning games this year.
Auburn and Oklahoma play for the national championship tomorrow on ESPN at 6 p.m.