Columbia, S.C.--Coach Clint Myers said he has been pleased with his team’s pitching and defense in a pair of 2-0 SEC softball road wins vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The Saturday shutout was particularly interesting because it featured the first college start for freshman right-hander Ashlee Swindle. She allowed no runs and no walks while giving up just two hits in 5 1/3 innings before giving way to junior Kaylee Carlson, who picked up the save.
“She did an outstanding job,” said Myers, whose team improved to 39-7 with the victory and 12-5 in the SEC.
“It is probably the best Ashlee has pitched and it is also the longest she has pitched,” the Auburn coach said.
Swindle got the opportunity with the regular Saturday starter, Makayla Martin, not on the road trip due to an “indefinite suspension.”
Ashlee Swindle was the state of Alabama's high school player of the year in 2016.
Swindle said he entered the start “nervous,” but it didn’t show on Saturday.
“She pitched on both sides of the plate and she commanded the four quadrants,” Myers pointed out. “She changed the eye levels of the hitters and she changed her speeds really well.
“She had real good command of the change-up and she had an outstanding defense behind her," the coach added. “It was just a great day for Ashlee and Auburn.”
Asked if he decided to make a pitching change with a runner on first in the sixth inning and one out because Swindle was tired, Myers said, “No, but there wasn’t a lot of thought to it because we had who I consider the best pitcher in the SEC ready in the bullpen. We had a two-run lead. Ashlee gave us five great innings so we decided to bring in the oldtimer and let her do her magic.”
Carlson didn’t allow a hit while picking up the save and she is scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale, which has been moved up to an 11 a.m. CDT start in hopes of avoiding rainy weather.