CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – No. 15 Auburn softball picked up wins No. 39 and 40 on the season as the Tigers swept their final regular-season doubleheader of 2018, defeating Chattanooga 7-0 and 9-0 in front of a sellout crowd at Jim Frost Stadium.
The Tigers (40-14, 11-12) have 40 wins for the eighth time in program history.
“The thing that stood out most to me was that we came to Chattanooga to play an away game, and it was almost like a home game. There was so many fans and it was awesome,” head coach Mickey Dean said. “There were 2,300 people here and I think about half of them were Auburn fans. Our girls had a little bit of adrenaline and it carried throughout the day.”
Auburn tallied a total of 22 hits on the day – nine in game one and 13 in game two. Five players had multi-hit games, including Alyssa Rivera and Victoria Draper who achieved the feat in both games.
Draper, who had a career-best four hits in game two, plated the final two runs in the seventh on a two-RBI single. The Moulton, Ala. product had six total hits on the day and brought her season average up to .397.
Auburn got a quick start in the opener plating three runs in the second inning. A double steal got the scoring started as Alyssa Rivera swiped second and Brittany Maresette made a head’s up decision to take home and beat the throw. Makenna Dowell plated Rivera on a RBI groundout and Kendall Veach came home on a wild pitch to take a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers plated two more in the third on a sac fly by Courtney Shea and RBI groundout by Tannon Snow. Veach then went deep to leadoff the fourth inning with her seventh homerun of the season to take a 6-0 lead. Auburn’s final run of the game came in the seventh as pinch hitter Bree Fornis scored from second on a pair of errant throws.
In the circle, Kaylee Carlson picked up her 20th win of the season (20-6), tossing 4.0 innings of shutout ball with just two hits allowed. The senior right-hander increased her Auburn wins record to 66 and has tallied 20 wins for the second-straight year.
Victoria Draper, Rivera and Veach led the way at the plate, each tallying two hits. Veach finished 2-for-3 with a RBI on the homer and a walk.
Game two saw Makayla Martin pick up her 50th career win in the circle. The San Diego native allowed just two hits over 5.0 innings of work while striking out a pair. Martin improved to 15-5 on the season.
“I think I only threw about four pitches that weren’t drop balls,” Martin said. “I thought my drop ball was working today.”
Offensively, the game had a similar feel to the first game. The Tigers put up a three-spot in the third inning beginning with Casey McCrackin’s RBI single to plate Draper. Tannon Snow then doubled to left-center to plate her sister Taylon and Rivera plated McCrackin on a RBI groundout to take a 3-0 lead.
Taylon Snow tallied a RBI double of her own in the top of the fourth and McCrackin scored Draper on a sacrifice fly to give Auburn a 5-0 lead. The Tigers added two more runs in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
The two shutout wins bring Auburn’s season total to 23, second-most in program history.
The Tigers now turn full attention to Columbia, Mo. for the SEC Tournament where they will play as the ninth seed against 8-seed Alabama Wednesday, May 9th, at 6:30 p.m. CT. The winner will face 1-seed Florida in the Thursday’s round.