Auburn, Ala.--Three home runs, including a two-out grand slam by Haylie McCleney in the third inning, sparked Alabama to a 6-0 SEC softball victory over the Auburn Tigers on Friday night.
The Tigers suffered just their second home loss of the season as their record dropped to 40-7 overall and 12-4 in the SEC. Alabama is 34-9 overall and 11-5 in league play.
Tide pitcher Alexis Osorio allowed just five hits to become the first to shut out the sixth-ranked Tigers this season. Prior to Friday night Auburn’s lowest offensive output was two runs in a win vs. Troy and a 3-2 loss to Cal State-Fullerton.
“We told the team it is just one game,” Auburn coach Clint Myers said. “The true test is how we handle it. We are in a situation where we haven’t been, ever, and it is how we handle it.”
Myers was not happy how his Tigers failed to handle Alabama’s pitcher, who improved her record to 13-5 while Rachael Walters dropped to 15-3 for Auburn.
“It was a ball game we didn’t play well,” Myers said. “We made her look good.”
After loading the bases with nobody out, Osorio struck out three straight Tigers in the first inning to set the tone for the game. She finished with 13 strikeouts, the most against the Tigers this year.
“She threw as we expected,” Myers said. “We didn’t handle it and stay with our plan.”
Auburn finished the game with five hits with Kasey Cooper leading the way with two singles.
The teams are now scheduled to finish the series with two games on Saturday. The regularly scheduled 5:30 p.m. game will be televised on ESPNU. The game that was scheduled for Sunday will be played at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.