Auburn’s run ran dry out in the desert in Tucson.
Top-seeded Arizona answered Auburn’s best swing in the early going then powered on to a 12-3 win over the Tigers on Sunday, ending Auburn’s season in the NCAA Tournament’s regional-final round.
Arizona led 3-0 early in the top of the third, before Auburn punched right back to tie it at 3-3 in the bottom of the frame, tying the game with a trip to Super Regionals on the line. But that proved to be Auburn’s last gasp, because that’s when Arizona pushed right back, scoring six runs in a game-deciding fourth inning to go up big, then cruise to the victory.
Auburn finished its season at 39-21. Arizona jumped to 45-12, the host seed there at the Tucson Regional and the No. 6 overall seed in the tournament now advancing on to Super Regionals.
Sunday’s game was broadcast on WatchESPN.
In the third inning, down three runs, Casey McCrackin tripled to right field to give the Tigers new life, scoring Morgan Podany before Alyssa Rivera pushed McCrackin home on an RBI groundout.
Tannon Snow then slammed a home run over the center-field fence to knot the score and put Auburn back in it.
In the top of the fourth, though, Arizona blew the game open, as Auburn’s depleted pitching staff struggled in its fourth game at the regional.
Auburn opened the double-elimination regional Friday by beating Colorado State 10-5. On Saturday, Auburn lost to Arizona 2-1 in a meeting of winners, putting the Tigers on the brink of elimination. Auburn recovered to beat Colorado State again, this time 8-0, to get to Sunday’s regional finals needing to beat Arizona twice while Arizona needed to win just one game to advance.
The Wildcats didn’t need two chances.
Auburn’s season ended, but not before the Tigers advanced to the regional final for the fifth time in six seasons.