TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 9 Auburn softball team made history Saturday night with a 4-1 victory at No. 14 Alabama. The Tigers (45-8, 17-6 SEC) clinched a series in Tuscaloosa for the first time ever and won their fifth-straight decision against the Crimson Tide (39-15, 11-11 SEC), setting a program record.
“We play it one game at a time,” said head coach Clint Myers. “I don’t know the history or the rivalry, though I’m starting to. Winning five in a row against this team is great. They’re an outstanding team that is well-coached.”
Makayla Martin earned the win and improved her record to 18-5 on the season. She tossed six innings and allowed just one run while striking out a pair. Kaylee Carlson, the winning pitcher in the series opener, came on in the seventh and earned her fourth save of the 2017 campaign.
“I was just trying to get groundballs get us into the dugout as fast as I could,” said Martin.
Offensively, the No. 8 and No. 9 spots in the lineup combined to go 4-for-6 as KK Crocker and Morgan Podany each tallied multi-hit performances.
Alyssa Rivera racked up a game-high three RBI on one swing. Carlee Wallace brought in the other run and added a single. Victoria Draper and Kendall Veach rounded out the attack with one hit apiece.
Both teams were held in check at the dish through the opening four frames, despite Auburn putting five runners on base in that span. Martin did her part by allowing only one runner to reach second base through the first four innings.
In the fifth, the Tigers found life. Consecutive singles from Podany, Crocker and Draper loaded the bases with one out. Wallace broke the deadlock with a walk, which scored Podany and made it 1-0.
Three pitches later, Rivera belted a three-run double into the left-center gap to bust the game wide open and give Auburn a 4-0 lead. Alabama added a run in the bottom of the sixth, but Martin limited the damage by inducing a groundout to Crocker to cap the stanza. In the bottom of the seventh, Carlson got the call from the bullpen and slammed the door shut to elevate the Tigers to a 4-1 victory.
With the win, Auburn clinched a top-three seed in the SEC Tournament next week in Knoxville, Tenn. The Tigers will look to complete the sweep Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m. on ESPN2.