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Auburn Rallies To Force Game Three With Extra Inning Grand Slam

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Rich DeCray SBN

Sometimes things just don't go your way. That was certainly the case for the Oklahoma Sooners on Tuesday night, although it certainly didn't seem that way early. OU posted seven runs on the board during the first two innings and then watched that lead dwindle away as Auburn struck for five runs in the bottom half of the second, two more in the fourth, and then the fatal blow that came in the extra frame.

After the Sooners went down in order in the top of the eighth, Auburn's Victoria Draper laid down a bunt single to represent the winning run. A Tiffany Howard single and Kasey Cooper loaded the bases and left Oklahoma with no room for error. Taking full advantage of the situation, Emily Carosone stepped to the plate and knocked her thirteenth homerun of the season to send the series to a third and final game.

"Really right before I got in the box I was thinking, hit it hard, because if I hit it hard and it went somewhere, Victoria (Draper) was going to score no matter what," Carosone said about the blast to win the game.  "But I don't know, that pitch was just there. It was -- softball is a game of inches, and my bat was there.  It's amazing.  God is good.  God is good."

Carosone's grand slam never would have happened though had it not been for the heroics of Tiffany Howard in the sixth inning. With Oklahoma having a runner on first, and two outs, Shay Knighten hit a sure home run to left field where Howard was able to leap and reach over the wall to snag the game-saving out.

"Yeah, 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."

Making the impossible look routine was pretty much Auburn's thing on Tuesday night. Erasing a 7-0 deficit. Ending their opponent's 31-game winning streak. Grabbing a home run and bringing it back in the yard for an out. Now the Sooners are sitting in a position they haven't been in yet...a must win situation.

"We aren't down," Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said after the loss.  "This team comes back like vengeance when somebody beats them, and they know it and I know it."

Win or lose, Wednesday night is going to be a lot of fun!