College Station, Tex.--Auburn used the long ball to bash Texas A&M 12-4 on Saturday night enabling the visiting Tigers to win the series after losing the first game in a doubleheader by an identical score.
Senior right fielder Branndi Melero, the SEC Player of the Week, led the Tigers in the nightcap with a two-run homer and a grandslam. She had three of Auburn’s 13 hits and seven of the team’s 11 RBI in game two.
Rachael Walters, who got a complete game victory in Auburn’s 8-1 series opener win on Friday, did it again on Saturday night despite pitching through three rain delays.
Bouncing back from perhaps their worst performance of the year while losing the first half of the doubleheader in a run-rule decision, Auburn improved its record to 40-6 overall and 12-3 in the SEC, a half-game ahead of second place LSU, which plays at Tennessee on Sunday.
Auburn opened game two with a single run in the first inning as Tiffany Howard walked and scored on a double by Melero. However, the Aggies trumped that with two runs in the bottom half of the inning and took the lead on the third home run of the day by Tori Vidales.
The Tigers the lead for good with three runs in the fourth inning and followed with two more in both the fifth and sixth innings plus four more on Melero’s home run in the seventh. Jade Rhodes drove home both of the runs in the fifth with her 17th homer of the season.
In the first game of the doubleheader the Tigers took a quick 1-0 lead on a home run by Emily Carosone, but Auburn gave it back immediately.
A sign of what was to come, starting pitcher Marcy Harper struggled to throw strikes. After walking the first two batters and giving up a single, the Tigers managed to get out of the inning tied at 1-1.
Kelsey Bogaards put AU up 2-1 with a two-out single in the second, but the Aggies avoided major damage when Carosone grounded out with the bases loaded.
The Tigers then had their worst inning of the season as the Aggies scored 10 runs off of three pitchers--Harper, Lexi Davis and Jenna Abbott.
That proved to be too deep of a hole for the Tigers to climb out of as they suffered their second run-rule loss of the season, falling in a game stopped in the sixth inning.
The Aggies managed their offensive explosion with just seven hits, but Auburn helped the home team’s cause with eight walks, a hit batter and two errors.
Auburn returns to action with a Wednesday home game vs. Samford and will play Alabama in a home series next weekend.