AUBURN, Ala. – No. 13 Auburn softball improved to 6-0 after another doubleheader sweep on the third and final day of the Plainsman Invitational in Auburn, Ala. Auburn defeated Tennessee Tech 18-0 and Furman 9-1 Saturday at Jane B. Moore to wrap up the weekend.
First year head coach Mickey Dean is making his mark on the Tigers’ record book quickly, as this is only the ninth time in school history a team has started 6-0 and the is longest streak of consecutive shutouts (5) to open a season in program history.
After struggling to find their offense in the first two days of play, the Tigers found their offensive rhythm on Saturday as the team combined for 27 total runs over two games, highlighted by Auburn’s first four homeruns of the season.
Auburn came out swinging in their first game vs. Tennessee Tech (0-4), posting eight runs off five hits in the first inning. The Tiger bats continued to deliver over the course of the contest, tacking on 10 more runs on five more hits. The Tigers tallied 11 walks in the contest.
Freshman Taylon Snow led the way for the Tigers, going 3-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored. Juniors Justus Perry and Kendall Veach also made their mark, blasting back-to-back homeruns in the fourth, the team’s first of the season.
Snow finished the day 5-of-7 at the plate with a double, four RBI and three runs scored.
Not to be outdone by the offense, Auburn’s pitching continued to shine as they recorded their fifth-straight shutout. Junior Makayla Martin (2-0) was credited with the win, pitching 3 scoreless innings, and extending her streak to 13 consecutive shutout innings.
Sophomore Ashlee Swindle relieved Martin to finish out the final two innings. She retired all six batters faced and had one strikeout.
Tennessee Tech starting pitcher Kayla Hughes (0-1) was credited with the loss.
Game two of the day vs. Furman (2-2) looked much like the first as the Auburn bats were on fire once again, scoring nine runs off of 14 hits. Perry led the way going 3-for-4, including her second home run of the day. The Prior Lake, Minn. product finished with three RBI and two scored two runs.
With Auburn leading 3-0 in the third, redshirt sophomore Tannon Snow smashed a two-run homerun to left-center field, notching her first hit and homerun as a Tiger after missing all of the 2017 season.
“That kid, I’m so proud of, you have no idea,” Dean said. “You have no idea how proud I am of that kid. Just her courage, and the things that she has been through, and for her to be able to speak publicly now and talk about those things. She’s just someone that young ladies can really look up to. People were saying a lot of things, questioning a lot of things. She’s a great kid.”
Senior Kaylee Carlson continued her brilliant start to the season, tossing yet another complete game while only allowing three hits and five strikeouts. Carlson has started the season 3-0 with 20 strikeouts and has surrendered just one walk.
Furman starting pitcher Marissa Guimbarda (0-1) was charged with the loss, pitching all 5.1 innings.
The Tigers will hit the road for a midweek game with Troy on Wednesday, Feb. 14 before returning to Jane B. Moore Field to host the Tiger Invitational Feb. 16-18.