In a top-to-bottom win, the No. 14 Auburn Tigers beat Alabama State 8-0 in a mercy ruled five innings.
Six stolen bases, lights-out pitching and a long homer by senior left fielder Bree Fornis propelled the Tiger victory past the Hornets.
Auburn started the scoring off in the bottom of the first behind a rare double steal. Alyssa Rivera stole second and Casey McCrackin stole home after the catcher tried to throw Rivera out at second.
Stolen bases were aplenty for Rivera who, on the night, tied the Auburn single-game stolen base record at three bases swiped. Rivera is now 17 for 18 in stolen base attempts on the year, with the next highest player at 13 steals.
The team’s six stolen bases were two shy of the eight needed to tie the all-time Auburn stolen base record.
Auburn scored more run in the first, behind a sacrifice fly ball by Tannon Snow to score her sister, Taylon Snow.
With a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third, Fornis took the plate. Not known for her home run hitting (only two on the year), Fornis delivered a powerful blow to a ball and took it far out to left center and out of the park. Fornis drove in one on her way to home, putting the Tigers up 6-0 in the third.
“It’s been a battle all season,” Fornis said. “But just being a part of this team and being able to help them in any way I can is a game-changer to me.”
The following inning the Tigers scored two runs for the fourth straight inning to put them at a mercy rule lead of 8-0. Chardonnay Harris closed the inning on the mound to secure the Tiger’s 34th victory of the year.
Big bats weren’t the only thing going for the Tigers as their pitching staff combined for three earned hits though five innings and added four combined strikeouts. Lexie Handley is accredited the win for her sixth on the year.
“We needed consistency,” said Auburn head coach Mickey Dean. “And we got it in the circle, got it on defense and, for the most part, we got it on offense. That’s all we are looking for — we just want to be consistent and play together no matter who we play.”
Auburn will face No. 24 Kentucky on Saturday, April 20, in Lexington for the first of a three-game series.
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