Carlee Wallace (above) cleared the bases with a double in the fourth inning.
Auburn, Ala.--Makayla Martin was dominant in the circle as the host Tigers moved into the winner’s bracket of the NCAA Auburn Softball Regional with an 11-0 victory over East Tennessee State on Friday at Jane B. Moore Field.
The game was called after 4 1/2 innings due to the run rule as Auburn improved to 47-10 while the Bucs dropped to 29-25.
Auburn will take on No. 2 seed Cal, which opened the tournament with a 6-2 victory over No. 3 seed Notre Dame on Friday. Game time has been moved up to 11 a.m. on Saturday with the loser's bracket game matching ETSU and Notre Dame now at 1:30 p.m.
“I felt good--all my pitches were working,”?Martin said after she improved her record to 19-5. “I went in there knowing they were going to swing the bat and I worked to my advantage and just kept the ball low.”
Martin finished her day throwing just 67 pitches with 45 strikes. The only hit was a soft ground ball single that found the shortstop/third base hole.
Makayla Martin had plenty of reasons to smile on Friday.
“Mack did a phenomenal job in the circle,” Coach Clint Myers said. “We played good defense with no errors. Everything was basically routine with timely hitting.
“We had a lot of people come in off the bench,” Myers pointed out. “We had three pinch-hits in the ball game, which we haven’t done in a long time.” Jenna Abbott, Bree Fornis and Whitney Jordan produced pinch-hit singles. “It was a good ball game for us.”
The Tigers did their offensive damage with nine hits and plenty of help from the Bucs, who walked six batters and hit one.
Kendall Veach led the attack with two hits, three runs scored and one RBI.
Kendall Veach races around the bases on the way to a triple.
Auburn scored a single run in the second inning when Veach tripled off the left field wall and scored on a line drive single to right field by Courtney Shea.
The Tigers were quiet at the plate until the fourth inning when they scored 10 times on six hits. Veach started the barrage with a one-out, line drive single. After Shea walked Abbott laced a single into right field to make the score 2-0.
Myers then went off script and called a safety squeeze bunt for McCrackin, who executed it so well it scored the run and she was safe at first base for a single to make the score 3-0. The coach said it was the first time he called for the play in his four seasons at Auburn. “We need to score more runs,”?he said, explaining his decision after the Tigers scored just two combined runs in their previous two contests.
After Victoria Draper walked and Kasey Cooper walked after lining a ball foul off the right field wall, Carlee Wallace drove home three runs with a double over the third base bag and the rout was on.
“It’s a huge kind of confidence builder,” Wallace said of the Tigers’ fourth-inning outburst. “It is going to be a great win to carry into tomorrow.”
Haley Fagan was part of an Auburn defense that played error-free softball on Friday.
Auburn’s next opponent, the Cal Bears, improved to 33-22 in a win over Notre Dame, which managed just two hits vs. the Pac-12 opponent.