Clutch Hitting Leads Softball Tigers Past UT

The Auburn softball team outscored Tennessee 6-2 to win its season opener.

Jenna Abbott (above) produced three hits for the Tigers batting No. 8 in the lineup.

Auburn, Ala.--The seventh-ranked Auburn softball team extended its lead in the SEC race by opening a three-game home series with a 6-2 victory over No. 11 Tennessee on Thursday night.

Auburn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and never trailed as the Tigers improved their record to 9-1 in the SEC and 36-4 overall. Tennessee, which came into the game tied for second place in the SEC, dropped to 6-4 in the league and 26-8 overall.

Lexi Davis gave up two runs and six hits in five innings to pick up the pitching win for the Tigers with help from Rachael Walters, who gave up just one hit in two innings of relief.

Auburn out-hit the Vols 13-7 and did not commit an error. Coach Clint Myers said he liked what he saw from his Auburn team.

“Wednesday we were talking that it was about timely hitting and that is what great teams do,” Myers said. “We ran the bases poorly twice (fly ball and line drive double plays with no outs and the bases loaded) and the next hitter came up and had a hit both times.

“We didn’t have a big inning, but we still scored and answered and kept extending the lead,” the coach added.

Jenna Abbott and Haley Fagan led the Tigers at the plate with three hits apiece. Emily Carosone added two hits.

“We knew we were going to come out and play Auburn softball and it was just amazing,” Abbott said. “We had 13 hits and none of them were home runs, which is just awesome for us because we can still put together runs.”

The biggest hit of the night for the Tigers was Abbott’s triple. “I was so surprised because I am really not that fast, “ Auburn’s designated hitter said. “It was just exciting.”

Abbott said she was seeing the ball well on Thursday night. “My timing was perfect on both of the pitchers,” she said.

Tennessee’s two runs came on solo homers. The Vols had other scoring opportunities, but the Tigers turned three double plays to get out of jams.

The two teams will play game two of the series at 6 p.m. CDT on Friday and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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