Kaylee Carlson (above) has five wins and one save in seven appearances this season.
Auburn, Ala.--Coach Clint Myers said that after two weeks of play the pitching staff has been carrying the hitters and without a doubt junior Kaylee Carlson has been a big part of that for the Auburn softball team.
Going into Thursday evening’s home game vs. the University of North Dakota she has a 5-0 record with a 0.88 earned run average. Carlson has allowed just 26 hits in 31 2/3 innings while striking out 17 and walking six.
Carlson noted that she and sophomore Makayla Martin, who is 4-1 with an 0.71 earned run average, came into the season feeling good about the way they were pitching.
“We worked all fall and we threw a lot of live, especially right before the games started, to get our hitters ready,”?she says. “I don’t think we realized how ready it got us for games. Both of us are going out there and doing our thing. We feel pretty good.”
Carlson has a large number of ways to attack batters. She throws a rise ball, a drop, a curve, a screwball and a changeup.
The junior noted that she believes she and Martin are both improved compared to last year when they were key performers in Auburn winning the SEC Tournament and finishing as the runnerup at the College World Series.
“We are a lot better, but I don’t think it is so much physically, it is more mentally,” Carlson pointed out. “Now we know what our roles are on the team and we are going to have to lead the team, especially when it comes to pitching. I?think that helps us in a way.
“We know we are going to have to get the job done and we don’t have the luxury of the three senior pitchers we had last year to come in if we are not doing well. Now it is on us to fight through, which I think it has helped us a lot.”
Auburn and North Dakota will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Jane B. Moore Field.
On Friday the Tigers will play twice with a 3:30 p.m. contest vs. UMass-Lowell and a 6 p.m. rematch vs. North Dakota.
On Saturday the Tigers will play Yale at 2:30 p.m. and 13th-ranked James Madison at 4:45 p.m. On Sunday at 1 p.m. the Tigers will again play James Madison.
The Tigers, who are ranked No. 2 nationally again this week, are on an eight-game winning streak since losing 2-1 to Washington in 10 innings as part of an opening day doubleheader in which they defeated defending national champion Oklahoma.