March 26, 2014
ATLANTA, Ga. – Sophomore Jade Rhodes hit her second grand slam of the year and freshman Kasey Cooper hit two home runs Wednesday, part of a 16-run output to defeat Georgia State, 16-1 in five innings Wednesday afternoon at the Heck Softball Complex. The 16 runs scored is Auburn’s third-largest total in a game this year and 15th win in six innings or less.
Auburn totaled 13 hits in the win, six coming from the bats of Rhodes, Cooper and redshirt junior Morgan Estell. Cooper finished the game 2-for-2 with five RBI, all off the long ball. The five RBI is her second-largest total in a game this year and upped her season home run total to 11, good for tops on the team. Her multi-home run game is only the second two homer game by a Tiger this year following Jenna Abbott, who hit two against Winthrop on Feb. 16. Cooper is now batting .467 this season, a team-best and best among SEC freshmen.
Rhodes finished Wednesday’s game 1-for-3, the only hit off the grand slam, her fifth long ball of the season, but she added an RBI on a sacrifice fly later in the game, bringing her afternoon total to five. The RBI total ties her career high and puts her season average at .274, good for fourth on the team.
Estell continued to hit the ball well Wednesday, going 2-for-3 with four runs scored. The two hits extends her hitting streak to 10 games and gives her eight multi-hit games in 2014. The four runs scored is a new career-high for Estell and the second time in the last six games she has scored at least three runs.
In the circle, sophomore Marcy Harper stayed undefeated, winning her 14th game of the year after throwing three innings, giving up only one earned run off the homer and striking out two. Senior Hilary Mavromat entered the circle for the final two innings, her fifth appearance of the season. Mavromat finished the job that Harper started and threw two scoreless innings, giving up no runs and only three hits.
Auburn didn’t waste any time getting its first runs of the contest in the first inning as Cooper smacked her team-leading 10th home run of the year over the right-centerfield scoreboard, scoring Estell. Estell reached on an error earlier in the inning and helped Auburn start the game off perfectly.
Four more runs were added off the Rhodes slam in the top of the third to give Auburn a 7-0 lead. However, Georgia State prevented the shutout with a home run of its own in the bottom half of the third off the bat of Taylor Anderson.
Auburn continued to bat around the lineup for the remainder of the game, spotting seven runs in the top of the fifth, two coming from an unlikely source. Redshirt freshman Anna Gibbs hit her first homer of the year in her only plate appearance of the afternoon in the fifth. It’s Gibbs’ second hit of the season and first homer of her career to cap the 16-run day.
Winners of 12 of their last 13 games, the Tigers will now travel to Lexington, Ky., to face the 10th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats for a three-game series. First game is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. CST.
The game can be heard locally on WEGL 91.1 or online at AuburnTigers.com with Brit Bowen on the call. Live stats will also be available on AuburnTigers.com throughout the weekend