With troubles all around, the Tigers did soemthing they sorely needed to do: went on the road to a Top 25 opponent and came away with not only the series win, but also with the sweep. It marks the first time the Tigers have swept the Bulldogs in Athens. They did it on the backs of not just the usual pitching, but also with hitting and scoring a lot of runs.
Game 1: Auburn 7-5
The Tigers started the scoring first in the 3rd inning in Friday night's game against UGA thanks to an error on a Courtney Shea hit that allowed Carlee Wallace to score. A Kendall Veach single into left field scored Kasey Cooper in the same frame. UGA picked up 2 runs in the 4th to cut the Tigers' lead, though. A Casey McCrakin walk with the bases loaded in the 5th gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead, but UGA tied it in the bottom half of the frame.
Auburn took the lead for good in the 6th as they scored 3 runs in the top half of the inning. With the bases loaded, Haley Fagan walked to score a run, then Courtney Shea was hit by a pitch to score another. The final run for Auburn was scored on a fielder's choice on an Alyssa Rivera hit. Kasey Cooper tried to score another run but was thrown out at home. The Bulldogs would add a run in their half of the 6th, but that was all they could do and the final margin was 7-5.
Kaylee Carlson improved her record with this win to 17-1. Her lone loss is last Saturday night's Game 1 against the Gators that should have been an Auburn win. She was helped with some excellent defensive play, particularly this web gem by Alyssa Rivera:
Game 2: Auburn 13-4
The Tigers bats really got going in Game 2 of the series. Or, at least, the bats of Carlee Wallace and Kendall Veach did. Wallace came a double short of hitting for the cycle in this one. She hit four balls that either reached the wall or ended up at the warning track. She had a home run on the 2nd pitch of the game and a triple in her second at bat that caromed off the top stripe of the wall to score more. Her bat was on fire in this one and really helped propel the Tigers to the win.
Kendall Veach was right behind her, though. Veach had a solo home run in the 5th to make the score 10-2 and then a 3-run dinger in the 7th to stretch the lead to 13-4.
UGA's first two runs were helped by - stop me if you've heard this before - a controversial call at the plate that did not go in Auburn's favor. Thankfully, this week that call didn't affect the outcome of the game. UGA avoided the run-rule loss thanks to a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 5th, but it was still a bit win to lock up the series for the Tigers on the road following the drama of the last week.
Makayla Martin pitched the complete game in this one for the Tigers, allowing 7 hits and 4 runs. Martin and Carlson continue to work their magic on the mound for the Tigers.
Game 3: Auburn 4-3
The Tigers completed the historic sweep (first time ever in Athens) of the Bulldogs with Sunday afternoon's contest. Auburn scored early and built a 3-0 lead in this one through the top of the 3rd inning. Kendall Veach's hot bat continued to pick up runs as she scored Haley Fagan on a triple in the 3rd.
UGA would battle back, though, getting 1 in the bottom 3rd and then 2 runs in the 4th to tie the game at 3. In the bottom of the 5th, Kendall Veach scored on a Courtney Shea ground out (Shea's 2nd RBI of the game) to score the winning run.
The Bulldogs mounted a rally in the 7th, getting two on with no outs. This was again aided by a strange call in which Carlee Wallace appeared to have thrown the runner out at first, but the play was ruled a foul ball. Kaylee Carlson was able to work around the jam, though, and finish the game out for her 18th win on the season.
A sweep after the week Auburn has had is huge. To go to a place where they've never swept the opponent and get the sweep is big, too.
Now, hopefully, things are starting to get back on track. The bats were working in Athens. What Auburn needs more than anything is Kasey Cooper to get back to her usual self. If she does, then this team could be truly dangerous.
Auburn goes on the road to play Samford in Birmingham Wednesday afternoon before finally returning to Jane B. Moore Field next weekend to take on the Ole Miss Rebels.