Just one day after being named SEC Freshman of the Week, Alyssa Rivera continued her hot streak in a 6-3 win for No. 7 Auburn over Georgia State Wednesday night. Makayla Martin picked up the win on a career-high 132 pitches to improve to 14-5 on the season.
“See the ball, hit the ball,” Rivera said on her performance the past week. “That’s the motto: See the ball, hit the ball.”
Rivera went 2-for-4 with two RBI on a homerun in the third with two runs scored, fueling Auburn’s four-run second inning with a single followed up with a stolen base.
“Take what you do in batting practice, and you’ll be fine,” Rivera concluded.
Auburn flew through the first inning before scoring four in the second, Rivera tallying the Tiger’s first hit of the night to leadoff the inning. She would later reach home off of a single from left fielder Carmyn Greenwood to give Auburn its first lead of the night 1-0.
Following a walk by K.K. Crocker and a bunt from Victoria Draper, Carlee Wallace was at the plate with the bases loaded. Wallace hit a three-run RBI double to extend the lead to 4-0.
“Actually, tonight I wasn’t seeing the ball all that great,” Wallace said. “I had to really lock in and I swung as hard as I’ve swung through a couple pitches tonight, I had to be as locked-in as possible.”
Wallace finished the night 2-for-3 with three RBI.
Martin escaped a bases-loaded scenario in the third. allowing three-straight singles to start the inning. A fly ball coupled with a double play allowed Martin to continue on through the night.
Shortstop Haley Fagan hit a leadoff single to start the bottom of the third, Rivera returning to the plate with a scoring opportunity. With a blast over the left-centerfield wall, Auburn finished its scoring to extend a lead to 6-0.
“That’s the way she hits the ball in batting practice,” head coach Clint Myers said. “Hopefully she reverts back to that because that was excellent.”
“See the ball, hit the ball,” Rivera reiterated. “Literally -- see the ball, hit the ball.”
Georgia State continued to offer scares to the No. 7 team in the nation, failing to score on two separate bases-loaded opportunities.
Catcher Ivie Drake had a RBI-single in the bottom of the first to bring in Morgan Brown, cutting the Auburn lead 6-1. Drake would later score on a RBI-single from Kensey Caldwell with two outs, Martin striking out pinch hitter Kylee Love to end the inning.
Caldwell would later hit into a double play in the seventh that drove in a run from Reagan Morgan, Georgia State clipping onto the final score of 6-3. Kinsley Jennings picked up the loss for the Panthers, allowing six hits on six earned runs.
Martin, who obtained a career-high in the pitch count, walked four and struck out two with three earned runs.
“[Makayla] goes out and competes,” said Myers, “she’s not happy with the way she pitched but she won, she gave up eight hits -- how many of those were in the infield?”
“She’s just having some tough luck,” he concluded.
Auburn will return to SEC play with Missouri on Friday, April 14, at Jane B. Moore field at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on the SEC Network.