ATLANTA, Ga. -- The No. 3 Tigers claimed an 8-4 victory over Georgia State on Wednesday afternoon and improved to 27-4 on the year. Despite making a season-high three errors in the contest, with all three coming over the first three innings, the Auburn bats were able to provide timely hitting as the Tigers swept the season series 3-0 over the Panthers (18-14).
Accustomed to quick starts, this game was no different as the Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead quickly. Auburn started out with three straight hits from Tiffany Howard, Emily Carosone and Kasey Cooper, with Cooper supplying an RBI double to get Auburn ahead 1-0. A pair of sacrifice flies from Carlee Wallace and Jade Rhodes followed to give the visitors a comfortable 3-0 lead after the first inning.
Two errors over the first two innings helped lead to two unearned runs for Georgia State and the Panthers were able to tie the game at 3-3 during the second frame.
Emily Carosone gave the Tigers the lead back in the top of the third hitting her seventh home run of the season to make it 4-3. Carosone went 3-for-3 in the game with two runs scored and RBI and also collected her 69th career hit by pitch, which ranks No. 7 in the NCAA record books..
The Panthers' All-American catcher Ivie Drake tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth with her eighth home run of the season.
Auburn was finally able to put the game away in the sixth scoring four runs during the frame. A leadoff home run by Jade Rhodes, her ninth of the season, started the scoring spree and two walks and hit-by-pitch to Whitney Jordan loaded the bases for the top of the Tigers' lineup.
A groundout by Howard led to a run before Carosone took a beanball to load the bases for Cooper. The two-out pegged proved fruitful as Cooper doubled in two more runs to give the Tigers the final total of 8-4.
Marcy Harper started inside the circle for Auburn and went 3.0 innings allowing seven hits, three runs and one earned run before turning the ball over to freshman Makayla Martin. Martin finished the game and picked up the win while improving to 7-0 on the season. Martin allowed a home run to the second batter she faced but was able to buckle down and compete the game for the Tigers'.
Auburn hosts South Carolina this weekend March 25-27 with first pitch on Friday set for 6 p.m.