Kaylee Carlson (above) pitches for the Tigers on Saturday night.
Auburn, Ala.--The No. 2 ranked Auburn Tigers guaranteed themselves a softball series victory over the Big South Conference’s Longwood Lancers with a 5-2 win on Saturday night.
In the process the Tigers extended their winning streak to 11 games while improving their record to 36-4 overall. Longwood, which has a 9-3 record in the Big South Conference, dropped to 21-14 going into the final game of the series at Auburn which is scheduled for a 1 p.m. CDT start on Sunday.
After scoring just two runs in the Friday night victory over the Lancers, the Tigers would match that total in the first inning, but not before falling behind 1-0 after All-American second baseman Emily Carosone had a rare throwing error.
It didn’t take her long to make up for the miscue when she crushed a long home run over the right center field fence to put the Tigers up 2-1.
“We had no strikeouts so our hitting improved,” Auburn coach Clint pointed out after the game. We hit some balls hard. Our leadoff hitter (left fielder Tiffany Howard) hits to the wall, which normally would be a triple, but they were playing her so damn deep. (Kasey) Cooper hits a line drive to the second baseman. I mean, we squared up a few balls that just were right at people. We’re moving in the right direction.
Senior left fielder Tiffany Howard takes a swing on Saturday night.
“We knocked the strikeouts down and we barrelled more balls,” Myers added. “One thing we are doing, and we’ve been doing, is getting the timely hits. If you get people in scoring position that’s the key.”
His Tigers would then take advantage of a couple of costly mistakes in the bottom of the second. Right fielder Madi Gipson would score on a passed ball to make it 3-1. After pinch hitter Jenna Abbott scored another runner with a fielder’s choice, shortstop Casey McCrackin would come home from third on a wild pitch.
Carosone was on point in the ball game going 2-2 from the plate including the home run in the first for two RBIs.
“She’s a very good player,” Myers noted. “There’s a reason why she is an All-American, two times. Being consistent and going out there and playing like an All-American is huge (for us).”
The senior also found a way to get hit by a pitch again tonight taking her record-breaking tally to 73 HBPs for her career.
“I take pride in getting on base any way I can whether it’s getting a hit, getting hit (or) whichever way is helping my team,” said Carosone. “That’s what my main goal is. I don’t know what it is (about getting hit). Bad luck maybe, maybe magnetic.
“The one I hit over today was an inside pitch and I’m surprised that she actually threw me inside,” Carosone said. “Then they tried to do it again and that home run was probably in the back of the pitcher’s head. She probably knew I was going to possibly hit it over again. That’s why she was more cautious and got in her own head and ended up hitting me.”
Longwood managed to get a run back in the sixth inning after back-to-back wild pitches by reliever Makayla Martin allowed the Lancers’ Glenn Walters to score. However, Martin, who got the save Friday night for the Tigers, struck out the side in the top of the seventh to seal the deal.
Kaylee Carlson started the night as Auburn’s pitcher, and her solid effort of five innings with five hits and one unearned run given up put her in position for her 11th win of the season. The North Carolina transfer has not lost a game this season.