Auburn, Ala.--Second verse, same as the first.
Another strong pitching performance by Kaylee Carlson meant another 3-1 victory for the Tigers allowing Auburn to take two of three games in an SEC softball series vs. the Ole Miss Rebels.
In Friday night’s 3-1 victory Carlson struck out seven batters and allowed just six hits.
In Sunday’s series finale she was even better, allowing just four hits while striking out six as she improved her record to 20-1 on the season.
“It was pretty similar, especially the first innings with the leadoff batters getting on,” Carlson said when comparing her two games over the weekend.
Carlson said return of her change-up combined with her rise ball has enabled her to get more strikeouts.
“It just disappeared,” Carlson pointed out. “I don’t know what was going on. I?have been working very hard in practice to get it back. Now that is working again I try not to think about it.”
Coach Clint Myers said that at times with Carlson on the mound the Tigers have altered their pitch to contact philosophy to go for the strikeout and the junior right-hander has delivered.
“I? have no problem putting Kaylee Carlson in the circle because she wins,” Myers said, noting that she did not give up an earned run on Sunday. “She has pitched magnificently all season long.”
Ole Miss wasted no time in taking the lead with a bunt single to open the game followed by another single.
After a groundout left runners on first and second the Rebels scored on a throw to second base that sailed high bringing home a run.
Auburn answered immediately with a leadoff single by Carlee Wallace followed by a triple from Kasey Cooper. With one out Alyssa Rivera, who was moved up to the cleanup spot, singled home Cooper to make the score 2-1.
“She had a phenomenal weekend and I am glad to have her back,” Carlson said of Cooper, the three-time All-American who had been in a batting slump.
Kasey Cooper hit .667 for the Ole Miss series.
Cooper drove home Auburn’s other run with a single in the bottom of the third inning to score Carlee Wallace, who reached base on a double.
For the weekend Cooper, who had just two hits in the first three SEC series, was 6-9 at the plate with with one walk.
The Tigers, who are ranked fifth nationally, improved to 33-6 overall and 8-4 in the SEC. Ole Miss, which is ranked 21st, fell to 26-13 and 3-9 in the league.
“It is huge,” Carlson said of her team bouncing back from a loss on Saturday to win the series. “It is our first week at home in a long time and we needed to come out here and win these games.
The Tigers return to action vs. Georgia State with a 6 p.m. CDT Wednesday home game.