Auburn continued its run of dominance in softball this weekend as the Tigers allowed two runs total in five games, while scoring 55. That's an amazing run of offensive prowess.
The Tigers played Boston College in a game Thursday afternoon in a single game before playing them again Friday as part of the Tiger Invitational. Those games went 5-1, 6-0 for the Tigers. Marcy Harper was fairly dominant on the mound, as she's been all season, allowing only one run late in the first game, although it was well in hand by then.
The Tigers split three pitchers in Friday's game, the first of the Tiger Invitational, with freshman Makayla Martin getting the start. With fantastic defense, the Tigers achieved the shut-out of the Eagles. From there, the bats really caught fire for the weekend.
Saturday was a double-header for Auburn as they took on first St. Johns and then Western Illinois. Game 1 was a 5-inning, run-rule, 3 hit shutout with Kaylee Carlson picking up the win. Kacey Cooper opened the fun with a two-run homer in the first. Courtney Shea started with the same in the second to open what was a seven-run inning. From there the Tigers road Carlson's pitching for the victory.
Game two was even better for the bats, with the Tigers picking up fourteen runs over five innings, while allowing only one in return. That WIU run was in the bottom of the first to tie the game, but that was all the visiting team was able to get for the game. Lexi Davis and Rachel Walters split the pitching duties on this one. The hits weren't as big - only one home run - but the total was devastating as the Tigers cruised to another run-rule victory, 14-1.
The weekend culminated with Sunday's destruction of the Indiana State Sycamores. Marcy Harper pitched two innings, allowing two hits, with Makayla Martin covering two and Rachel Walters closing the game out, neither allowing a single hit. Auburn scored nine runs in the top of the 1st (playing as the visitors) and that was all that they needed. It wasn't all that they picked up, though, as there were 12 more runs for the Tigers to score over the next two innings, with a lot of shots knocked out of the park in this one. Kasey Cooper, Emily Carosone, Jenna Abbot, Jade Rhodes, and Courtney Shea all hit deep shots in this one in an impressive display of offensive prowess.
Auburn's Kasey Cooper was named SEC Player of the Week for her efforts over the week.
The Season So Far:
Auburn's pitching has been absolutely dominant all season. The combined team ERA is 1.00. Marcy Harper has been stellar and could certainly be considered the team's ace, but Clint Myers goes with more of a rotation, and he has the pitchers to rely on to make that work. Freshman Makayla Martin looks primed to be one of the better pitchers in recent memory with her first appearances. Last season's starters - Harper, Lexi Davis, and Rachel Walters - are all dealing it in spectacular fashion, as well.
The home runs are flying out of Jane B. Moore Field, with the Tigers hitting 27 in the first sixteen games of the season. They don't just need the long ball, though. The Tigers are picking up RBIs all over the place, with 194 runs in those fifteen games. That's 37% of last year's run total in 24% of last season's games. That's sure to slow in SEC play, but it sure does look good right now. That's with only 16 runs scored against them.
Jane B. Moore Field is a rough place to play for opponents. That's a credit to the team and the fans. 7 out of 10 games this year have been run-rule victories. Can we get a name for this place? I'd make the "Jane" jokes because of "The Jungle" and the obvious Tarzan references, but it just doesn't work as well as I'd like.
The Tigers travel to UAB for a mid-week game Tuesday afternoon before returning home for Murray State Thursday afternoon in a single game prior to the Wilson/DeMarini Classic, where they'll face Indiana, Murray State (again), Bryant University, and Georgia State. The following week will close out the non-conference schedule for 2016 against Tennesse State. Auburn's first SEC series will be against last year's champion Florida Gators.