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Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Tournament

Auburn closes weekend with 18-1 win

1600 days ago
Auburn Athletics
Photo: Auburn Athletics

CLEARWATER, Fla. - The third-ranked Auburn softball team capped its weekend in Florida with another big win Sunday as it dispatched Fordham, 18-1, on the final day of the Michele Smith PC Invitational in Clearwater, Fla. The win was Auburn's fifth of the week and 10th of the season as they pounded out 23 hits, nine for extra bases.

Auburn practically cleared out its roster in the game as 24 players saw action in some form Sunday.

Sophomore Whitney Jordan and freshman Casey McCrackin hit the big home runs in the game, each notching three RBI. McCrackin, who was making her first start at shortstop this season, finished the game 2-for-4 with her three RBI coming off her first long ball of the year in the fourth inning.

Jordan continued her hot start to the season, going just 1-for-3, but hitting her third home run of the year to bring in three runs in the third. Jordan has been nearly unstoppable at the plate early this season. Through Auburn's first 11 games, Jordan is batting .406 with 13 hits, eight for extra bases and a team-leading 18 RBI.

In the circle, freshman Makayla Martin picked up her third victory of the year to stay undefeated. Martin pitched three strong innings, allowing only one earned run with one walk, while striking out two. In her three starts this year, Martin has yet to allow more than one run and has struck out two or more in each appearance.

Sophomore Kaylee Carlson finished the final two innings of the game, relieving Martin at the start of the fourth inning. Carlson sat down six-straight batters to end the game, striking out three in the process.

Jordan and McCrackin weren't the only players with large RBI numbers in Sunday's game. Redshirt sophomore Madi Gipson finished a perfect 3-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored. Gipson had two singles and one double. Her two-bagger in the 2nd inning was part of a big six-run push by the Tigers to break the game open with the Rams.

Gipson had herself a nice weekend in Clearwater, Fla. Over the five-game span, the Birmingham, Ala.-native went 8-for-14 (.571) with two doubles, a triple and two home runs. Her offense was a key part in every game, especially against No. 19 James Madison, where her solo home run gave Auburn the early lead on the Dukes on Saturday.

An extra notable performance came from junior Kasey Cooper, who also went for perfection, hitting 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI. Cooper had two doubles in the game, which ties her personal-high, dating back to early last season against Chattanooga (Feb. 8, 2015).

Seniors Tiffany Howard, Jade Rhodes, junior Jenna Abbott, sophomore Carlee Wallace and redshirt sophomore Victoria Draper all contributed multi-hit games as well, giving Auburn eight players with two or more hits in the game. The 17-run victory marked Auburn's sixth run-rule win this season and fifth offensive outing of 18 or more runs.

Auburn returns home next weekend as it hosts the Tiger Invitational to finish out the month of February. It will take on Boston College Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Jane B. Moore Field. That game will not be part of the Tiger Invitational, but both teams will face off again Friday at 5:30 to kick off the tournament.

The Tigers will also face St. John's, Western Illinois and Indiana State over the weekend. All games will be played at Jane B. Moore Field.

For fans looking to keep up with all of Auburn's games next weekend can tune in to SEC Network+ on Saturday and Sunday. Both games against Boston College will not be carried on the network due to scheduling conflicts.