Tiffany Howard (above) has been a standout performer in left field and at the plate for the Tigers.
Auburn, Ala.--With four home runs plus 18 other hits on Sunday, Auburn closed its Tiger Invitational with a 21-0 softball victory over Indiana State.
The Tigers improved to 15-1 for the season after winning all four of their games in the three-day invitational.
Kasey Cooper, Jade Rhodes, Jenna Abbott and Courtney Shea each hit home runs vs. the Sycamores, whose record fell to 3-5.
A two-run shot in the first inning by Cooper to score Emily Carosone was the junior third baseman’s team-leading sixth home run of the year and drove home all the runs the Tigers would need to win the game.
Tiffany Howard, Auburn’s leadoff hitter, continued to swing a hot bat. She was 2-3 at the plate with two runs scored and three runs batted in.
“I think we are doing great offensively and defensively,” said Howard, a senior left fielder. “We have our pitchers pitching great, all five of them, and our defense is pretty stout right now. We aren’t making many errors. As you can tell, our bats are pretty hot. It’s not just the starters, it is everybody.”
Howard, a third team All-American last season, noted that she is feeling good at the plate. “I have a really good feeling right now,” she said.
Marcy Harper, Makayla Martin and Rachael Walters combined for the shutout in the game that was stopped after five innings due to the run rule. Harper allowed two hits in two innings, Martin pitched two innings and struck out five batters without allowing a hit while Walters pitched a hit-free fifth inning while hitting a season-high mid 60s in miles per hour on her fastball.
“I thought we attacked the game pretty well and we got a lot of people in the game,” said Coach Clint Myers, who substituted early and often. “We showed some power, we barreled a lot of balls and we had a lot of good at-bats. They key thing is having good at-bats and playing good defense.”
The third-ranked Tigers didn’t take long to show their dominance. Playing as the visitor they scored nine runs before Indiana State came to bat. The Tigers added five runs in the second inning and seven more in the third inning.
Auburn’s coach said that he has been pleased with the pitching so far. “Overall, if you look at our ERA this is the lowest we have had since we have been at Auburn and we have more pitchers than we have ever had before,”?he pointed out. “We have got a one ERA team-wise as a staff. When you have that, things are going pretty good.”
The head coach said that pitching coach Corey Myers has the staff looking sharp. “Corey is doing a masterful job of selecting the innings and the teams,” Myers said. “ Everybody is healthy, everybody is strong.”
Auburn returns to action with a 6 p.m. road game in Birmingham vs. UAB.