BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Rachel Walters threw her first career no hitter and No. 3 Auburn posted an 18-1 (5) victory at Samford on Wednesday evening.
Walters walked the leadoff batter then settled into her groove retiring the next 15 batters and improved to 3-2 on the year. The senior from Powhatan, Virginia threw one strikeout and allowed just the one walk.
"She (Walters) finished stronger then she started and really threw the ball well out there tonight. I was proud of her efforts today," head coach Clint Myers said after the game.
The Tigers offense backed their pitcher piling up 18 runs over the first four innings before a scoreless fifth.
Auburn went ahead during their first turn at bat with their first five batters all reaching base. Carlee Wallace took a bases-loaded walk to score the game's first run and Jade Rhodes hit a single to right-center after Wallace to plate another run. Courtney Shea, a local of the Birmingham area, delivered a sacrifice fly the next swing to cap the scoring margin at three.
The Bulldogs got a run back in the second but then Tigers answered with six of their own in the bottom of the second to make it a 9-1 game. Kasey Cooper had a two-RBI single before Jade Rhodes' sixth career grand slam dealt the rest of the damage.
A five spot in the third followed with Cooper hitting a two-run blast to start scoring barrage. Three straight walks following Cooper's homer set the table for Tiffany Howard and the senior had a two-RBI single to put Auburn ahead by 13.
The Tigers totaled 12 hits and also made use of 11 walks doled out in the game.
Auburn added four runs in the fourth to cruise to the victory. The Tigers starting 1-5 batters went a combined 8-for-10 with 11 runs scored, 12 RBI and drew seven walks before head coach Clint Myers unleashed his bench.
"We got everyone in the ballgame and that was key. The more experience we get, the more relaxed we'll be during conference play. I was really happy that we were able to give some of those girls some at bats and time in the field. And they played well when we called their names."
"And the starters played really well also. We had 13-15 quality at bats and that's really great a five-inning ball game."
The win marks the 14th run-rule win of the year for the Tigers.
Auburn travels to Mississippi State for an SEC series this Friday-Sunday with all the games shown on the SEC+.