AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn picked up a run in each at-bat and got a one-hit performance in the circle from starter Marcie Harper as Troy fell 6-1 to the Tigers on Wednesday night at Jane B. Moore Field.
Auburn (27-15) first baseman Morgan Estell finished 4-for-4 at the plate with a pair of solo home runs and four RBIs, while Harper (15-6) kept the Troy bats off-balance allowing just one hit and striking out nine, while walking none.
Troy (18-21) picked up its lone run in the top of the sixth in part to two Auburn errors. After Chandler Griffin reached on a dropped fly ball by Auburn right fielder
Branndi Melero in the right-center gap, Kacie McAllister’s sacrifice bunt attempt was airmailed into right field by Harper allowing Griffin to score easily from second base.
Bailey Blake picked up the lone hit for the Trojans with a line drive single to right field in the third. The senior finished 1-for-2 and also picked up her 14th stolen base in the same inning.
Troy starter Rachel Rigney (8-10) took the loss and lasted just 3.2 innings in her 15th start of the season. In her first start since March 16, the freshman gave up six hits and four runs, while striking out three and walking three batters. Michaela Hamilton tossed the final 2.1 innings in relief giving up a pair of singles, striking out four and allowing just one earned run.
Estell belted her first home run of the night to lead off the bottom of the first with a line drive that bounced off the right-center light standard to put Auburn up 1-0. In the second, Estell knocked a RBI double off the left field wall with one out to extend Auburn’s lead to 2-0. A pair of solo shots off the bat of Auburn’s
McKenzie Kirkpatrick and Estell pushed the Tigers’ lead to 4-0 in the fourth. An Estell RBI single in the fifth and a Troy throwing error with two runners on base in the sixth capped the scoring for the Tigers.
Caitlin Ortiz reached base in two of her three plate appearances, raising her on-base percentage to .520 thanks to two hit-by-pitches. Ortiz has been hit by 12 pitches this season, the most by any player on the team.
Troy returns to Sun Belt Conference play by taking on FIU in a doubleheader starting Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. in Miami. Both teams will wrap up the series at 12 p.m. on Sunday.