Kendall Veach (above) plays first base for the Tigers.
Athens, Ga.--Auburn defeated SEC softball rival Georgia for a sixth consecutive time taking a 7-5 victory in the series opener on Friday night.
The Tigers took advantage of the home team’s miscues. Georgia pitcher Brittany Gray walked 11 batters as her teammates committed three errors.
Only three of AU’s runs were earned as Gray’s record fell to 17-5 for the Bulldogs, who dropped to 27-6 for the season and 2-5 in the SEC.
Auburn pitcher Kaylee Carlson went the distance, too, and improved her record to 17-1. She allowed nine hits and walked two. Three of the five runs allowed were earned as the Tigers committed two errors.
“Kaylee was great in the circle tonight,” said Auburn coach Clint Myers. “The offense had some timely hitting. Alyssa Rivera also made two very fine catches in right field.”
The Tigers improved to 29-5 overall and 4-3 in the SEC.
Kendall Veach and Carlee Wallace each had two hits for the Tigers, who finished with five hits in a game they stranded 13 runners on base. Veach drove home a pair of runners with a line drive single as the Tigers moved ahead 3-0 in the third inning.
The Bulldogs cut the lead with a pair of runs aided by three hits in the fourth inning.
Veach was involved in Auburn’s next run with a single in the fifth inning as the Tigers moved ahead 4-2 when Casey McCrackin drew a bases loaded walk.
The Bulldogs tied the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning with two hits and an error on Haley Fagan.
Auburn responded with three runs in the top of the sixth inning as Victoria Draper and Carlee Wallace opened the inning with singles.
“It fired us up, it didn’t bring us down,” Veach said of Georgia’s comeback. “We were saying, ‘no, we are not going to do this’ so we gathered them up, talked to each other and produced runs.”
Back-to-back walks by Kasey Cooper and Haley Fagan brought in a run. The Tigers moved ahead 6-4 when Courtney ‘Shea was hit by a pitch. The lead went to 7-4 on an error by the Bulldogs.
Georgia mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning, but managed just one run.
Game two of the series is set for 6 p.m. CDT.