TUCSON, Ariz. - Auburn's season came to an end in the Tucson Regional finals as No. 6 Arizona eliminated the Tigers 12-3.
It was the fifth time in six years Auburn, which ends its season with a 39-21 record, has reached the finals of its regional. Just a week earlier, the Tigers became the lowest-seeded team in Southeastern Conference history to reach the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.
"We didn't play well - the score shows that - but no one quit," said Auburn head coach Mickey Dean. "When the girls look back on it, as short-handed as we were with injuries and so forth, they have a lot to be proud of. A lot of people are going to try to judge them and the program, but the only ones who are capable of doing that, are the ones who were out there on the field today."
Arizona, needing to win only one game Sunday to advance to next weekend's Super Regional, struck first on the scoreboard with a three-run top of the third inning, which was highlighted by a two-run home run by the nation's leading home-run hitter Jessie Harper.
In the bottom half of the inning, Auburn made its first rally attempt as Casey McCrackin tripled home Morgan Podany for the Tigers' first run. Alyssa Rivera plated McCrackin on a groundout, before Tannon Snow tied the game with a solo home run to centerfield.
However, the Wildcats swiped the lead right back an inning later with a six-run fourth inning, which included a three-run home run by Alyssa Palomino.
Harper clubbed her second and third home runs of the game when she hit solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
The Tigers tailed only four hits against the Wildcats when Tan. Snow leading the way with two hits in three at bats. Including McCrackin's triple, Makenna Dowell rounded out the hit total for Auburn.