Photography: Dakota Sumpter

Auburn Sweeps Arkansas to Move Back Into First In the SEC Softball Race

Auburn's bats and pitchers combined to dominate Arkansas as the Tigers swept an SEC softball road series.

Third baseman Kasey Cooper (above) hit a pair of home runs on Sunday.

Outscoring Arkansas 54-0 to sweep a three-game series, the Auburn softball Tigers moved back into a tie with Florida for first place in the Southeastern Conference.

Now 12-3 in the league after taking a 10-0 run-rule victory on Sunday, the Tigers picked up their 19th shutout victory of the season as well as their 19th run-rule decision as they improved their overall record to 41-4.

In extending their winning streak to 16 games, the Tigers hit 10 home runs on their road trip to Fayetteville to extend their league-leading total to 69.

“It was a good weekend for Auburn,” Coach Clint Myers told Inside the Auburn Tigers. “We created a lot of offense and we had a lot of good at-bats in the series and we set a couple of team records.

“All in all, the pitchers pitched well,” he noted. “We didn’t give up any runs and scored 54.

“Jade Rhodes continues to swing a hot bat--she had five hits in the game on Saturday,” Myers pointed out. 

Myers said that a point of emphasis is to have more production in the batting order from one through nine and liked what he saw on the road trip, pointing out that No. 9 hitter Victoria Draper was effective at getting on base while right fielder Madi Gipson had a “phenomenal” week reaching base seven times, scoring four runs and driving home six vs. the Razorbacks and in a road win at UAB.

“When we have so many people getting in base it makes it nice for our people hitting one, two and three in the batting order,” ?the coach said.

The competition level with increase dramatically beginning on Wednesday as eighth-ranked FSU visits Jane B. Moore for a doubleheader with games starting at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Georgia, which is ranked 10th nationally, will then visit Auburn for a three-game series starting at 6 p.m. on Friday.

“We have big games coming up in the SEC and on Wednesday we play a high-ranked Florida State coming to our place and a Georgia team that is on a roll,” Myers said. 

On Sunday junior third baseman Kasey Cooper led the Tiger hitters with two home runs, including a grand slam, as she drove home six runs. The Tigers also got long balls from senior second baseman Emily Carosone and sophomore shortstop Whitney Jordan.

In Saturday’s 23-0 decision, the largest margin of victory in Auburn history vs. SEC competition, senior first baseman Jade Rhodes hit a pair of home runs to give her 16 for the season, three shy of the single-season school record she set last season. Going 5-5 for the game, Rhodes drove home six runs. Courtney Shea and Madi Gipson also contributed homers.

In Friday night’s 21-0 victory the Tigers the got a homer from Shea and a grand slam from freshman Morgan Podany. Prior to Saturday's game, the Friday contest was the school record for most lopsided SEC victory.

Arkansas came into the series vs. the Tigers with 17 wins, but just one vs. SEC teams, and the Razorbacks struggled to hit Auburn’s pitching.

Kaylee Carlson, who improved her record to 12-0, allowed two hits in there innings on Friday night while Marcy Harper finished the game and allowed one hit in two innings.

On Saturday freshman Makayla Martin allowed two hits in four innings as she improved her record to 10-0. Senior Lexi Davis didn’t allow a hit as she pitched the final inning.

On Sunday senior Rachael Walters improved her record to 7-2 as she gave up just three hits in four innings. Carlson did not surrender a hit in one inning of relief.

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