STARKVILLE, Miss. - Auburn had a six-run offensive outburst during the top of the eighth inning to fuel the Tigers' 7-4 victory against Mississippi State in eight innings.
After No. 13 Auburn (27-5, 4-1) tied the game in the top of the sixth inning, the two team entered extra inning tied at 1. However, in their half of the eighth, the Tigers plated six runs on six hits and one Mississippi State error to build a 7-1 lead and withstood a late rally by the Bulldogs.
"That was just a pure fight," Auburn head coach Mickey Dean said. "We just fought. We tied it up then gave ourselves a little bit of energy, then we just fought. The at bats weren't beautiful, but we executed."
Mississippi State (20-9, 1-4) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Carter Spexarth singled through the left side to score Fa Leilua from second. The score stood until Kendall Veach beat out a throw from shortstop Bevia Robinson that resulted in Alyssa Rivera scoring from second.
To start the eighth inning, Taylon Snow and Casey McCrackin reach base, before Rivera put down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners. Tannon Snow was hit by a pitch during the following at bat to load the bases for Veach, who hit a 1-0 pitch to right field to allow Tay. Snow to tag from third to give Auburn a 2-1 lead.
From there, Auburn reeled off five straight two-out hits with Brittany Maresette, Justus Perry, Carmyn Greenwood and Morgan Podany all earning run-scoring hits. Mississippi State attempted a rally in the bottom half of the eighth by starting the inning with back-to-back solo home runs off Auburn starting pitcher Chardonnay Harris (6-0). Ashlee Swindle earned her second save of the season when she came into the game and got the next three outs.
"We knew, as a team, we had to come out here today and show them what we could do on their field," Podany said. "They may have home-field advantage, but that doesn't mean anything to us."
Both teams will look to win the weekend series Sunday afternoon when Auburn and Mississippi State square off at 1 p.m. on SEC Network +.