After a dominating 22-0 win over Alabama State on Wednesday, No. 11 Auburn opened the weekend series against No. 19 Kentucky with a 3-1 victory to improve to 28-6 on the season.
McKayla Martin gave up one run on five hits in 6.1 innings before Kaylee Carlson got the game's final two outs to earn the save.
While the pitching was impressive, Auburn coach Mickey Dean was particularly pleased with the Tigers' performance defensively.
“We played great defensively," Dean said. “It couldn’t have been much better. We made some great plays, got some double plays out of them when we needed them.”
Victoria Draper made history by breaking the Auburn single-season steals record with her 34th stolen base of the season. Draper knew she'd be asked to steal bases this season, but even she couldn't have predicted this.
“It’s definitely fun,” said Draper. “[Dean] said that I’d be running a lot before the season started, but I never imagined this much.”
Dean was quick to praise the hard work that got Draper to this point.
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“She’s earned it,” said Dean. “A lot of times, you get a record, and sometimes you don’t have to work to get it. She’s worked really hard. She’s been a great teammate to these young ladies. She plays through pain every day, and she’s amazing to coach.
The game was an even contest early on, as both teams struggled to adjust to the opposing pitcher. Auburn opened the scoring in the fourth inning with a solo home run by Courtney Shea and the Tigers extended their lead in the bottom of the fifth when Victoria Draper’s RBI single scored Morgan Podany.
Casey McCrackin's 16 pitch at-bat in the fifth inning gave Draper time for her record-breaking steal, and McCrackin eventually brought her home with an RBI double.
The Wildcats broke the shutout in the seventh and brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate, but Carlson got Katie Reed to pop out to end it.
The Tigers and Wildcats will play game two of the three-game weekend series Saturday at Jane B. Moore field. First pitch is set for 8 PM central.
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