Auburn Softball continues rolling despite one bad inning over the weekend as they picked up a mid-week win against Samford in Birmingham and then travelled to Starkville and took the series from Mississippi State with bookend wins on Friday and Sunday.
Samford (18-1 Victory, No-hitter)
A no-hitter by Rachel Walters, the first of her career, and an absolute offensive explosion led to the Tigers' mid-week victory over the Bulldogs from Samford. Jade Rhodes hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth, Kasey Cooper hit a two run homer, and the Tigers put up 18 total runs on 12 hits as the Tigers dominated the 5 inning run-rule game.
Mississippi State, Friday (3-2 Victory, 14 innings)
The opening game of the Tigers' first road series of the year outside of tournaments in the non-conference schedule was worth two games. Literally. The game went twice as long as a regulation softball game. Auburn led early, Mississippi State tied it up, and then Jade Rhodes launched a home run off the MSU scoreboard in the 6th to tie the game. Kaylee Carlson came on in relief for Auburn after the 4th inning and then proceeded to pitch 10 innings, throwing 12 strike outs. Auburn was able to win the game on a wild pitch that scored Cooper in the 14th inning. It was the longest game in Auburn softball history.
Mississippi State, Saturday (6-3 Loss)
Auburn let Mississippi State get one big inning, the 2nd, where they scored 5 runs, and that was the difference in the game. Auburn tried to make a late rally in the final frame, scoring 2 runs, but they couldn't get the runs back, and the Tigers dropped the middle game, leading to a rubber match on Sunday.
Mississippi State, Sunday (2-0 Victory)
Auburn's bats didn't get much going in this one, tallying only a single hit, but they did manage to get 2 runs across the plate early on, and that was all they needed. Rachel Walters pitched a great game before Kaylee Carlson came on in relief during the 5th inning to get Auburn out of a jam. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out in the 6th, but Carlson got out of that, as well. A good 7th, and the Tigers left Starkville with the 2-0 game and the series wins.
The MVP of this series has to be Carslon. Her 10 innings Friday and then just over 2 Sunday were just the right thing at the right time.
I know the stat lines aren't the best for Auburn's hitters, but you have to take into account how good MSU's pitching staff is. They have some of the lowest ERAs in the league. So getting out of there with the series win and having Auburn's pitchers by effective for the majority of the time is a big deal. With LSU and Alabama not on the regular season schedule this year, Auburn is set up nicely to make a good run through the conference slate.
Auburn will be back in action Wednesday in Atlanta against Georgia State. They'll return to Jane B Moore Field next weekend to face South Carolina.