No. 9 Auburn lone SEC unbeaten after sweeping DH against No. 13 Kentucky
AUBURN, Ala. -- Ninth-ranked Auburn earned its second sweep in as many weeks on Saturday, defeating No. 13 Kentucky 4-1 in the first game of the doubleheader and 9-7 in game two. The three-game sweep of the Wildcats marks Auburn as the only undefeated team left in the Southeastern Conference and is the program's first 6-0 start to the conference season.
Auburn got plenty of timely hitting in both games. However, the pitching staff came through with clutch performances, upping the team's overall record to 32-2.
The Tigers are currently on an eight-game winning streak, with their last loss coming at Cal State Fullerton two weeks ago. The sweep of the Wildcats is Auburn's first since 2008.
"It was a long day," Auburn head coach Clint Myers said. "This was the first time we had to face a ball club like this. Our philosophy is good pitching, good defense and timely hitting. I think we saw all of those things take place today. If we continue to grow as a team, execute and pay more attention to detail, then we have a great shot."
Rachael Walters got the win in game one, coming in to relieve Marcy Harper in the middle of the fourth inning. Harper had a good start, going 3.2 innings and only giving up one earned run. But that run tied the game at 1-1 and Harper had loaded the bases after before being pulled.
When Walters got the call to come out of the pen, she shut down Kentucky's offense the rest of the way including getting out of that bases loaded jam in the fourth. Walters is still a perfect 11-0 on the season as she only gave up two hits with four strikeouts over 3.1 innings.
In game one, the Tigers got on the board early in the first with an RBI double by senior Branndi Melero. She finished the game as the team's only player with a multi-hit performance going 2-for-4 with the lone RBI.
The Tigers added insurance in the sixth inning as Emily Carosone hit her 14th home run of the season, a two-run shot, marking the final runs of the game. Carosone continues to lead the team in the category and has four home runs in her last six games. Carosone is now just four home runs away from the all-time Auburn single-season home run record of 18 set last year by current sophomore Kasey Cooper.
In game two of Saturday's double-header, Auburn looked well on its way to a possible run-rule victory against the Wildcats to finish off the sweep, scoring six runs in the first inning after Kentucky scored one in the top half of the inning.
The Tigers batted around in the first, getting six runs on six hits to take the five run lead. The big hits coming on a two RBI single by Fagan and a two RBI double by Jade Rhodes. Both combined for four of the six RBI for the Tigers in the first inning and finished with a team-high three RBI each in the game.
Fagan finished the game 3-for-4 with a double and one run scored. Rhodes went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a double and a home run. Her 14th home run of the season came in the bottom of the fifth inning as Auburn had built up a 9-2 lead on the verge of a run-rule win.
The Tigers couldn't get that extra run in the sixth inning to win the game early and allowed Kentucky to make a small comeback in the seventh. The Wildcats scored five runs in the top of the seventh as Davis couldn't finish the game. After throwing six great innings, Davis gave way to Harper, who saw her second appearance in as many games to finish it out.
Davis picked up her 14th win of the season and is still undefeated at 14-0. She pitched a full six innings, scattering six hits with five earned runs and three walks.
Hidden in the box score after Fagan and Rhodes' three RBI game, Tiffany Howard went 4-for-4 in the contest with one run scored and one RBI. It's the first four-hit game for a Tiger this season and is her team-leading 16th multi-hit game of the season.