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No-hitter: Auburn softball opens season with pitching gem

Feb. 11, 2016

Harper does her part in combining for an Auburn no-hitter on opening night

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By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn pitcher Marcy Harper said her first couple of innings "were a little ehhh."

A little ehhh?

"I'm kind of a perfectionist, so when everything isn't spot on, I'm like, 'I didn't throw very good.'"

Don't be fooled. Harper didn't allow a hit in four innings and combined with Rachael Walters to complete the no-hitter to help Auburn beat Appalachian State 9-0 Thursday night in 4½ innings in the season-opener at Jane B. Moore Field.

"I thought Marcy threw lights-out," said Auburn coach Clint Myers.

The no-hitter on opening night was the right step for an Auburn team that played in its first College World Series, won the SEC Tournament and set the school record with 56 wins last season. But the Tigers won Thursday with a little bit of a twist from that team by not hitting a home run, like they did 99 times last season. This game, Auburn had seven hits mixed in with 10 walks. The Tigers scored seven in the first and two in the third. The game was called after 4½ innings by the run rule.

"I'm smiling with a 9-0 win with a no-hitter. That's pretty easy coaching there," Myers said.

Auburn will continue its opening week at home when it plays Western Kentucky at 5:30 p.m. Friday as part of the Plainsman Invite. The Tigers will play two games Saturday, starting with Butler at 12:30 p.m. and then Furman at 3 p.m. Auburn will play Appalachian State again at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Auburn scored its seven runs in the first on a Kasey Cooper RBI triple, a Jade Rhodes single, a Victoria Draper sacrifice fly, two wild pitches and a Whitney Jordan 2-run triple in her first start.

"We all swung the bat really well," Jordan said. "Getting the hit my first at-bat helped calm my nerves a little bit."

"It shows that we can score runs without having huge hits or home runs."

Auburn added its two runs in the third on a Courtney Shea single and a wild pitch.

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by three seniors from last year's team -- Branndi Melero, Morgan Estell and McKenzie Kilpatrick. They went to the World Series.

"It's that constant reminder of what this team can do. We've done it before, so our expectations is to do it again," Myers said.

Auburn's lineup went through other changes on opening night. Tiffany Howard missed the game after having wisdom teeth pulled. Catcher Carlee Wallace didn't play, either.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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