*Courtesy Auburn Media Relations*
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – A solid performance throughout the lineup and in the pitching circle gave the Auburn softball team its fourth win of the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic Sunday, defeating Radford, 8-0, in five innings. The win pushes Auburn’s record to 17-3-1 for the year and was the team’s final game before the start of conference play.
Sophomore Marcy Harper started in the circle for the Tigers Sunday morning and was nearly flawless, giving up only one hit over four innings and striking out six. Harper stayed undefeated after the performance upping her record to 8-0 and thus lowering her ERA to 2.71. Senior Hilary Mavromat pitched the final inning of competition, her fourth relief appearance of the year, giving up only one hit with one strikeout and facing the minimum three batters.
Offensively, the Tigers scattered four hits from four players in the game and got multi-RBI output from freshman Kasey Cooper (1 R, 2 RBI), junior Branndi Melero (1-for-2, 2 RBI) and sophomore Jade Rhodes (1-for-2, 2 RBI). The Highlanders did have two errors in the game that led to two of the Auburn runs.
Auburn scored three runs in the first inning Sunday to take the early lead after sophomore Emily Carosone (1-for-2, 2 R) led off the game with a single, her 21st hit of the year. She was then advanced around on a Highlander error and a fielder’s choice to score the game’s first run. Later in the inning with redshirt junior Morgan Estell on second after the error and Cooper on first, Rhodes stroked her fourth double of the year to left-center field, bringing in two runs to extend Auburn’s lead to 3-0.
In the second inning the Orange and Blue struck again, but this time for four runs to push the lead even further to 7-0. Sophomore Kelsey Bogaards (1 run scored) led off the inning by reaching on the game’s second error. Sophomore Tiffany Howard (1-for-1, 1 R, 2 BB) then singled to put two Auburn runners on with nobody out. In the next at-bat, Carosone was hit by a pitch to load the bases, followed by a walk by Estell to bring in another run.
The Tigers worked in another run as Cooper reached on her second fielder’s choice, which was then followed by a Melero walk to score Carosone for the game’s fifth run. The five runs forced Radford to make a pitching change as Rachel Walters replaced Kelsey Weddle before even recording an out in the second. Even with the change, Auburn still scored the fourth run of the inning as freshman Jenna Abbott was hit by a pitch, scoring Estell to make it 7-0.
Needing only one run to force the potential run-rule, Auburn got what it needed in the third inning after Melero brought home Howard on an infield single to give the game its final score of 8-0. Melero finished the game with two RBI to keep her team lead for the season at 31.
Auburn takes a four-game winning streak into its next set of games, facing the LSU Tigers for its conference opening series at Jane B. Moore Field. Both teams will play one game on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. First pitch for Friday’s game is set for 6 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday’s game time is set for 1 p.m.
All three games of the series can be heard locally on WEGL 91.1 or online at AuburnTigers.com. Live video and stats will also be available on AuburnTigers.com throughout the weekend for all games.
All home games at Jane B. Moore Field this year will require a purchased ticket unless otherwise specified. All ticket information can be found here on AuburnTigers.com.