Tampa, Fla.--The fourth-ranked Auburn softball Tigers improved their record to 24-3 with a doubleheader sweep on Friday.
In game one at the University of South Florida’s invitational that runs through Sunday the Tigers defeated North Dakota State 2-1 before blanking host USF 4-0 in game two. In the two games the Tigers stranded 26 runners on base.
Right fielder Madi Gipson produced the game winning hit, a walk-off win vs. the Bison. With one out and the bases loaded Gipson singled to score pinch-runner Bree Fornis.
Kasey Cooper and Haley Fagan started the rally with one-out singles and then Kendall Veach walked to load the bases.
Auburn’s other run came on a solo home run by Cooper in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the contest after Vanessa Anderson hit a solo homer in the top of the inning off of Kaylee Carlson, who improved her pitching record to 14-0 as she allowed just three hits while striking out seven and walking three.
North Dakota State dropped to 10-16 with the loss.
In game two USF dropped to 18-12 after being shut out by sophomore pitcher Makayla Martin, who got a 1-0 lead in the second inning, which was all she needed.
Gipson scored the first run. She was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a walk to Casey McCrackin and to third base when Morgan Podany was hit by a pitch. After Victoria Draper struck out Carlee Wallace walked to bring in the run.
Freshman Alyssa Rivera’s two-out, RBI double put the Tigers up 2-0 in the top of the third inning scoring Veach who walked.
Auburn doubled the lead with a home run by Wallace in the fourth inning that scored Draper, who reached base on a single.
“I thought we played good defense,” said AU coach Clint Myers. “Offensively, we left too many on base, but pitching-wise we were good in the circle.”
Martin improved her record to 10-3 for the Tigers, who will play two games on Saturday at the E.C. Moore Softball Complex in Clearwater, Fla. They will take on Illinois at 11 a.m. CDT before facing Ohio State at 1:30 p.m. On Sunday the Tigers will play LIU-Brooklyn at 8 a.m. in Clearwater.