Auburn, Ala.--Kaylee Carlson pitched a three-hit complete game as the Auburn softball Tigers took their weekend SEC series 2-1 vs. Missouri with a 6-1 decision on Easter Sunday.
Carlson, a junior right-hander, boosted her record to 21-2 as the seventh ranked Tigers improved to 36-7 overall and 10-5 in the SEC.
Carlson was efficient in victory, throwing just 86 pitches after suffering just her second loss of the season in the opening game of the series on Friday night.
“We played defense great today,” said Carlson, whose teammates didn’t make an error. “It makes all the difference to us as pitchers because we pitch to contact so our defense go out there and make plays.”
Carlson said it was “a relief” to have a strong pitching performance after the loss on Friday. “I had a rough game on Friday, but being able to come back and flush that out gives me confidence for next weekend.”
Coach Clint Myers liked what he saw from Carlson and the overall defense, noting the Tigers took a step in the right direction. However, he fussed about what he called two mental errors.
The first was when Carlee Wallace was out at second base in the top of the first inning when she prematurely left first thinking that Kasey Cooper walked.
The other was on a deep shot to center field by Cooper. Myers wanted the runner on second base, Victoria Draper, to tag up on the play, but she had started to third base and wasn’t in position to do that.
“Those are the things we have got to be able to do,” Myers said. “We talk and preach attention to detail, doing the little things. Those are things we have got to do better because when you get into postseason those are the type of things that beat you.”
Auburn scored in the third inning with Draper reaching base on a one-out bunt single. She moved to second base on a ground ball out. A walk to Kasey Cooper put two runners aboard for Haley Fagan, whose line drive single scored Draper.
Victoria Draper, Auburn's fastest player, runs the bases on Sunday. She scored twice.
Alyssa Rivera walked to load the bases, but Missouri got out of the inning when Carmyn Greenwood hit a fly ball that was caught in left field.
Neither team scored until the Tigers put five more runs on the board in the fifth inning.
Back-to-back infield singles for Draper and Carlee Wallace got the inning started. After Cooper hit a line drive to the center field fence for out one, Fagan walked to load the bases.
Freshman Alyssa Rivera continued her strong play with an RBI single to center field scoring two runs.
With two outs and the bases loaded Kendall Veach cleared them with a line drive triple to right center field to make the score 6-0.
Early in the game, Veach was pinch-hit for after coming into the contest in an 0-19 slump. “That was very, very sweet,” Veach said of her key hit. “I definitely needed that.”
Missouri’s only run came on a leadoff homer by Cayla Kessinger in the sixth inning, but Carlson settled in and took care of business for the complete game pitching performance.