Photography: Dakota Sumpter

Auburn's Softball Slump Continues With Fourth Straight Setback

The Auburn softball team's pitching continues to struggles as the Tigers lost 13-6 to Texas A&M on Saturday.

Emily Carosone (above) set the AU record for career hits at 262 on Saturday.            

Auburn, Ala. -- The Texas A&M Aggies showed off their power-hitting in a 13-6 clobbering of the Auburn Tigers on Saturday to clinch the weekend series and give Auburn its first back-to-back series losses of the year.

            The Aggies managed to hit a triplet of three-run homers in the game with the first coming at the beginning of the contest from A&M shortstop Kristen Cuyos. Another run would be tacked on after a double by right fielder Cali Lanphear, and by the end of the top of the first the score was already 4-0.

            The batter at the bottom of the lineup for A&M, center fielder Erica Russell, hit an opposite field solo shot to make it 5-0 to start the second inning. This would run starter Lexi Davis, who finished only one inning giving up five runs on six hits. Freshman Makayla Martin replaced her.

            “You have to go out and prove it each and every day and we just haven’t proved it,” said Auburn coach Clint Myers after the loss. “No excuses. Is this still a good ball club? Yes. Are we still the defending SEC champs? Yes. We’ve just got to figure some stuff out. I’m sure that it’s going to turn around.”

            In the bottom of the second inning Auburn showed signs of life, plating four runs after a throwing error on a bunt attempt by Victoria Draper that scored Courtney Shea from second, a two-RBI single by Emily Carosone and an RBI single by Carlee Wallace.

            Then in the bottom of the third inning the Tigers clawed their way back into the lead after an RBI hit-by-pitch on Carosone with the bases loaded tied the contest and an RBI fielder’s choice from Kasey Cooper scored Draper to give Auburn a 6-5 advantage.

            “It’s tough to win when you allow 13 (runs),” Myers pointed out of the season-high total allowed. “We talked about it. Pride is at stake now. You can’t question the character. They’re not quitting. It’s just that we’re not getting the job done in the circle. We had some good at-bats. We hit some balls hard, but like I said the other day good teams make their own luck and right now we’re just not good.”

            The troubles in the circle continued in the top of the fourth for a pitching unit that has given up 41 runs in the past four SEC games after only allowing 44 runs in their previous 18 conference clashes. After an RBI single tied it at 6-6 the Aggies would produce back-to-back home runs with a three-run line drive shot by designated player/pitcher Samantha Show and a solo long homer by Lanphear to take the lead at 10-6. Martin would then be pulled from the game after two and 2/3 innings, giving up five runs (all unearned) on four hits, three walks and a strikeout.

            Pitching Coach Corey Myers would then give the ball to Marcy Harper, and in the top of the fifth inning the visiting team would seal the series with its final three-run bomb of the day, this one coming from catcher Ashley Walters.

            “When you battle back and you score six runs after giving up five in the first two (innings) you’ve got to find a way to let your offense have a break,” Corey Myers noted. “We’re going to go as far as (the pitchers) take us. The offense is going to start scoring runs but, hell, if we score 12 runs we’ve still got a loss today. I think that’s a sad statement but that’s where we are at.”

            One Auburn player who had a good day was Carsone. She finished the game 2-3 from the plate with two hit by pitches and three RBIs. She set the all-time record for hits at Auburn with 262 for her career. She also made a fantastic diving catch in the top of the sixth with the game seemingly out of reach.

            The Tigers, now 45-9 (15-7 SEC), will try and avoid hitting double-digit losses when they take the field for the regular season finale with the Aggies (37-16, 9-14 SEC) on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CDT with the SEC Network+ providing broadcast coverage.

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