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Auburn Advances to Finals with Extra Innings win over Cal

Haley Fagan had four hits in Auburn's 4-3 win over Cal on Saturday (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Dakota Sumper)

Day two of the Auburn Regional began with a true classic.

With the game tied at 3 heading to the bottom of the ninth inning, Auburn used four base hits to walk off with a 4-3 win over Cal, advancing them to championship Sunday.

Three Golden Bears reached base to open the ninth inning for Alleah Laxamana. During the at-bat, catcher Carlee Wallace forced Khala Taylor at third base into a rundown situation, which ultimately led to Taylor being out at the plate. The play sparked controversy as Taylor collided with Wallace on the play. Caution arose for Wallace, as she was injured during the Mississippi State series in late April after colliding with a Bulldog infielder on a slide attempt, causing injury to her mouth and chin. Wallace received the impact in that area, but would stay in the ball game with minimal harm.

Krysten McCue struck out to end the inning with the score tied at three.

Kasey Cooper led off the inning with a single to center, and was replaced by Brittany Maresette as a pinch runner. The three following batters followed suit by reaching base via the single. The final hit of the inning came off the bat of Alyssa Rivera, who scored Maresette to win the game.

Prior to delivering the winning hit, Coach Clint Myers called time to offer advice to the freshman.

“it’s just the moment that you wait for your whole life.” Rivera said when asked about the conversation she had with her head coach. “Don’t swing too hard, don’t try to do too much and just shorten up and be direct.”

California jumped on the board first by scoring two runs in the top half of the third inning. McCue scored first on a wild pitch, and Jazmyn Jackson scored on a single by Lindsay Rood.

The lead was short-lived, as Auburn answered in the bottom half of the inning by tying the game at 2. Casey McCrackin led off the inning by sending a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall, with Haley Fagan scoring Victoria Draper on a single later in the inning.

The Golden Bears regained the lead in the top half of the fifth inning. Laxamana singled to open the inning, and was replaced by a pinch runner in Octavia Bond. Bond later scored on a two out single by Kylie Reed, moving Cal 3-2.

Auburn scored once more on a Cooper single with two on, tying the game at three, which ultimately forced extra innings.

Five Tigers recorded multiple hits in the game, led by Fagan’s 4-for-5 performance at the plate. Rivera had three hits, while McCrackin and Draper had two each.

Kaylee Carlson got the start, pitching six innings and allowing three earned runs while striking out three. But, it was Makayla Martin who earned the win as she carried the Tigers to a win in three innings of work, allowing one hit and walking one.

Auburn will await the winner of Saturday night’s second elimination game. Sunday’s opening game is expected to get underway at 1:30 P.M. at Jane B. Moore Field.

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