After having the midweek games against UAB and Murray State either postponed or cancelled, Auburn finally got back out onto the Diamond Friday evening in the Wilson/DeMarini Classic.
Indiana (W, 8-7, 8 innings)
Indiana shocked Auburn early on Friday and took a 7-0 lead in their first game thanks to a 1st inning grand slam. It took a bit, but Auburn's bats finally awoke and were able to overtake the Hoosiers in extra innings for the 8-7 victory. Marcy Harper was rocked hard early on for the first time this season. Freshman Makayla Martin stepped in and pitched a brilliant five innings in relief that featured 9 strike outs. Rachel Walters pitched the final frame before Madi Gipson scored Tiffany Howard on a walk-off sacrifice fly to clinch the game.
Of note in Friday's game, Junior Kasey Cooper broke Auburn's career home run record with the 43rd long ball of her career. That's pretty spectacular when you consider she still has a lot of playing time ahead of her. She gets it done at the plate and in the field, too, as one of Auburn's best fielders.
Murray State (W, 10-0, 5 innings)
Saturday's first game - against Murray State - was more of what Auburn is used to. The Tigers picked up seven runs in the opening frame, and cruised from there. They added one more in the third and two in the fourth, but that was just window-dressing, as they were already at the run-rule threshold. Lexi Davis picked up the three-hit shutout in five innings for Auburn.
Bryant (W, 10-0, 6 innings)
The second Saturday game was virtually identical, although it did go to 6 innings rather than being over at 5. Marcy Harper bounced back from her showing against Indiana and threw 3 scoreless innings. The Tigers scored 1 run in the 1st inning, 2 in the 3rd, and 1 more in the 5th. They finished off the "home" team (for this game) Bryant Bulldogs in the 6th when they scored 2 runs before Jade Rhodes hit her second home run of the game, this one a grand slam, to give the Tigers the 10-0 lead.
Georgia State (W, 7-0, 7 innings; W, 9-0, 6 innings)
Sunday featured a double header against Georgia State. The games lasted a little longer, but the results were the same. In Game 1, Carlee Wallace started the fun with a two-run home run in the 3rd inning. They picked up one more in the third, and then finished the game off with four runs in the 6th to run-rule the Panthers. Makayla Martin pitched a masterful 7 scoreless innings to continue her very impressive freshman campaign.
Game 2 featured another record being broken, as senior Tiffany Howard hit her 9th career triple to set the school record in the top of the 6th. Emily Carosone drove her home on the next at bat to put the score at 7-0 and effectively sealing the game. The Tigers would add another after a Kasey Cooper double to make it 8-0. They added one more to make the final 9-0.
Auburn remains undefeated at home, and continues to be mostly dominant at Jane B. Moore Field. The Indiana game is really the only test the Tigers have faced at home this season. To give you an idea of how dominant Auburn has been, they have outscored their opponents 238 - 24 so far this season. After falling down 7-0 to Indiana early on Friday, Auburn went on a 44-0 run the rest of the weekend.
All of that has been thanks to the bats of Tiffany Howard (hitting .552), Kasey Cooper, Jade Rhodes, Emily Carosone, and others, combined with the masterful pitching of Marcy Harper, Makayla Martin, Lexi Davis, and Rachel Walters.
The Tigers will take on Tennessee State in a two-game mid-week series this week before starting the SEC schedule against defending College World Series Champion, Florida.