AUBURN, Ala. -- The Tigers made short work of St. John's (9-0) and Western Illinois (14-1) during the second day of the Tiger Invitational hosted at Jane B. Moore Field. Both games lasted the minimum five innings as No. 3 Auburn improved to 14-1 with the Saturday sweep.
"I thought we played much better in the second ball game -- hit more balls square and had a better hits-to-run ratio," head coach Clint Myers said after the game. "We just need to focus on being more consistent."
"If we make the routine plays and we let the great plays take care of themselves, we're pretty happy with it. It's the consistency we have to spend the time on to be the team we want to be."
The Tigers enjoyed big scoring innings in both games to propel themselves to the large margin of victories but the hits dried up after jumping out ahead 9-0 in the second inning during the early game against St. John's.
Junior Kasey Cooper provided a measure of that consistency with a strong showing at the plate as she went 4-for-6 with six RBI and three runs. She also had delivered a home run in her last at bat against Boston College on Friday night.
"See ball, hit ball, it's really simple," Cooper said about her approach. "That's what the coaches have been preaching and when you get you good pitch, then put your best swing on it. It's great knowing that I have teammates behind me that can pick me up if I don't get anything good to swing at."
AUBURN 9, ST. JOHN'S 0 (5) - GAME 1
The Tigers needed only five hits to reach nine runs and quell the Red Storm (5-6) in the first win of the day.
Cooper put Auburn ahead in the first with a two-run homer and Courtney Shea followed with her own two-run shot in the next inning to stay one behind Cooper's team-leading total of five home runs.
Later in the second, a string of five consecutive Tigers reaching base set the plate for a big inning. A hit-by-the-pitch, single and walk loaded the bases and two more runs were accepted on walks to Cooper and Madi Gipson. Jade Rhodes cleared the bases with a double to cap the advantage at 9-0 for Auburn.
Kaylee Carlson (4-0) tossed four strikeouts as she cruised to her first shutout and complete game of the season and lowered her ERA to 1.47.
AUBURN 14, WESTERN ILLINOIS 1 (5) - GAME 2
Auburn piled on eight runs in the top of the fifth and scored in every inning but the second for a more balanced and impressive line score in the win over the Leathernecks (3-8).
Cooper once again put Auburn up early delivering a double in the first to drive in Emily Carosone.
The first four in the third inning all touched home with half the runs delivered on Rhodes' second homer of the season. A double by Carlee Wallace drove in another run before the Tigers unloaded their eight-run barrage in the fifth.
The Tigers started that big frame with a pair of singles by Victoria Draper and Tiffany Howard. Cooper sent both back to the dugout with a double and then Howard came back up to the plate later in the inning and drove in three RBI of her own with only a single. Walks, an error and a hit-by-the-pitch dealt to pinch hitter Madi Gipson helped lead to the inning's other three runs.
Lexi Davis picked up the win the game and going three innings. Rachel Walters closed out the win for Auburn throwing the final two innings.
Auburn closes out the Tiger Invitational tomorrow with a game against Indiana State set for 1:30 p.m.