Carlee Wallace heads home after hitting a home run.
Auburn, Ala.--A pinch-hit single by freshman Carmyn Greenwood gave the Auburn softball Tigers a 4-3 victory in extra innings in the home opener on Thursday night vs. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
The second-ranked Tigers improved to 4-1 while the visitors dropped to 5-1.
Greenwood’s line drive to deep right center field scored Bree Fornis, who was pinch-running for Haley Fagan, who opened the bottom of the eighth inning with a single.
Fornis moved to second base on a walk to Kendall Veach and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Courtney Shea.
Coach Clint Myers was not impressed with anything from his team other than the pitching.
“We had two ground balls in eight innings,” Myers said. “That is not our game plan. If you look at the number of strikeouts and popups and it is ridiculous. They were basically told starting barrelling balls and getting them on the line or on the ground or the pitchers aren’t going to be able to carry your ass for the entire season.”
Auburn didn’t wait long to grab the lead in the bottom of the first inning. A leadoff walk to Kasey Cooper led to two runs as the No. 2 hitter, Carlee Wallace, launched a moon ball over the left field fence.
The visitors cut the lead to 2-1 with a pair of hits in the third inning. The Tigers stretched the lead back to two runs in the fourth inning on line drive smash by Kendall Veach that quickly exited the park over the left field fence.
Makayla Martin pitched six innings for the Tigers.
Southern Illinois-Edwardsville tied the game with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning on a two-out rally started by a base on balls and a single to center that was misplayed by Victoria Draper. Another single tied the game at 3-3.
Kaylee Carlson got the call to pitch for the Tigers in the seventh inning and picked up the win, allowing no hits in two innings as she improved her record to 2-0.
“I am believing we are going to snap out of it or we are going to have to make some changes," Myers said. “We have got to hit. It is just that plain and simple.”
Wallace agreed with her coach. “I firmly believe it is brewing, it is coming, we are all well overdue. The game is kind of putting us down on our butts...I?think we just need to work on relaxing and try to have some fun.”
Worth Noting: Junior Emily Spain made her first career start at second base, filling in for injured K.K. Crocker and Casey McCrackin, who was out with the flu. “I thought she did very well defensively,”?Myers said.
Kasey Cooper makes a defensive play on Thursday night.
Stat of the Game: Auburn improved to 21-0 in home openers.
Up Next: The Tigers will open play in their own Plainsman Invitational with games 2:30 p.m. on Friday vs. Creighton and 4:45 p.m. vs. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.