Lexi Davis (above) is shown in action during her record-setting victory.
Auburn, Ala.--Senior pitcher Lexi Davis set a school record as the Auburn softball Tigers put away the Troy Trojans with ease while taking an 8-1 victory on Wednesday night.
The Tigers, who are ranked No. 2 and No. 3 nationally in the polls this week, improved to 34-4 while the Trojans dropped to 23-13.
If you ask any of Auburn’s players or coaches, they will probably say that every game is important and every win is big. However, this one might have been just a little more special to Davis.
Allowing just three hits with seven strikeouts and one walk, Davis improved her season record to 5-0 while earning her 61st career victory, the most in Auburn history.
“I was just trying not to think about it,” Davis said. “I just tried to play my game and when it happens, it happens. I’m glad that tonight we could do it at home. It’s so exciting.
“I didn’t really know if I was ever going to hold a record at Auburn or not, but I am sure glad that it’s this one,” Davis added.
Coach Clint Myers said there was plenty he liked on Wednesday night. “I thought we did an outstanding job,” he said. “We’ve got great defense and great approaches. We had timely hitting. Lexi did a phenomenal job in the circle.”
“She’s been the workhorse since I’ve been here,” Myers said of Davis. “Her freshman year, Marcy (Harper) was the number one and Lexi was in the shadows. Lexi’s been working hard and she’s getting the rewards she deserves.
“She’s getting after it,” Myers added. “She’s doing her job and competing out there. I would have loved to have seen her get the shutout, but she went the distance. She earned that 61st win.”
Auburn was able to strike quickly with back-to-back innings with four runs scored to begin the game.
In the bottom of the first inning, Jade Rhodes hit a two-RBI single to get Auburn on the board. On the very next pitch right fielder Madi Gipson hit a towering home run off of the upper half of the scoreboard to double the score.
Madi Gipson prepares to touch home after her home run vs. the Trojans.
In the Tigers’ next at-bat they continued their scoring pace. A wild pitch would bring home shortstop Whitney Jordan to make it 5-0. Then second baseman Emily Carosone would rip a two-RBI double to bring Auburn’s run total to seven before Rhodes would strike again with a run-scoring single to make it 8-0.
“Jade’s RBIs have really jumped up there because the people in front of her are getting on,” Myers noted. “Then she’s coming up and getting clutch hits. That’s the thing. She’s really confident right now and she’s seeing the ball well.
“She’s playing a great first base,” Myers added. “Her base running at Kentucky was phenomenal. Every aspect of Jade’s game right now is right there at the top. We just go wake her up and tell her, ‘Jade, just keep going like you are because we’ve got a lot of season left.’”
Rhodes finished the night hitting 2-2 with three RBIs total.
Myers made mass substitutions after the third inning to give backup players an opportunity to impress. Afterwards, Myers didn’t seem too excited with their performance.
“The people that went in, we’re trying to get them some opportunities to play and they’ve got to step up,” he remarked. “It’s plain and simple. We’re seven months into this and (they) are not freshmen anymore. Somebody had a chance to get their name in the paper and nobody stepped up. Those are the things that great teams do. They have people that step up. Hopefully, this is a learning experience for these young ones.”
Auburn seemed to be primed to lock up another run rule victory, but Troy’s catcher, Heather Johnston, had other ideas. With one out in the top of the fifth inning Johnston put another dent in the scoreboard to add to Gipson’s bomb in the first. The scoring would be done for the night after the catcher’s solo shot.
The Tigers will start their next series on Friday with the Big South’s Longwood Lancers (21-12, 9-3) coming to the Plains. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CDT.