Columbia, S.C.--Kaylee Carlson pitched a four-hit shutout as the Auburn softball Tigers defeated South Carolina 2-0 on Friday night.
The junior right-hander improved her record to 22-2 with an efficient performance that included 87 pitches and no bases on balls.
She also received good support in the field from a revamped lineup with Casey McCrackin at shortstop replacing Haley Fagan, who is suspended indefinitely. K.K. Crocker got the start at second base and like McCrackin she had a good defensive performance.
Auburn scored a run in the first inning when Victoria Draper led off with a single and moved to second on a stolen base with one out.
A ground ball to the pitcher by Carlee Wallace prompted a play on the speedy Draper at third base, but a bad throw allowed a run to score.
The Tigers scored another run in the third inning when Draper singled to left center field and stole second base before moving to third on a pitch in the dirt. She scored from there on a double to left center field by Kasey Cooper.
Auburn had a chance to break open the game in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and one out after a hit by Cooper, Carlee Wallace reaching on an error and Alyssa Rivera getting to first on an infield single to extend her hitting streak to 11 games.
Kendall Veach just missed a home run to left field, which was foul. She then hit a hard ground ball to the third baseman, who stepped on the bag and threw to first base for a double play.
Cayla Drotar went the distance for the Gamecocks, allowing five hits and three walks as her record fell to 6-3.
“I thought Kaylee Carlson pitched extremely well,” Coach Clint Myers said. “We’ve got to do a better job of swinging the bats, but our defense was outstanding.”
Game two is scheduled for 1 p.m. CDT with freshman Ashlee Swindle expected to get her first college start in place of Makayla Martin, who is suspended indefinitely.
The Tigers improved to 38-7 overall and 11-5 in the SEC. South Carolina dropped to 27-19 and 3-12 in the league.
Cooper, who played with a mask to protect an injury suffered she suffered on Wednesday night, had two hits as did Draper.
“We are determined,” Cooper said of her team. “We are here to win so we are going to have nine people on the field who are going to do their job. We are going to give it everything we have every single play and that is what Auburn softball is all about.”