The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Kasey Cooper's grand slam powers Auburn past Carolina

1396 days ago

AUBURN, Ala. -- There was a grand slam, a 2-run homer and enough runs to end this one early. So what did Auburn coach Clint Myers talk about first after Friday night's 10-0 victory over South Carolina?

The pitching of Kaylee Carlson.

Carlson shut out the Gamecocks in the game that was called after 4½ innings because of the run rule.

"She came here to pitch and said she'd show us, and right now she's doing every bit of that," Myers said. "Hat's off to Kaylee Carlson."

A tip of the fedora to Kasey Cooper and Jade Rhodes, too. Cooper hit a grand slam and Rhodes hit a 2-run homer in a most-decisive 6-run fourth inning. Cooper finished with five RBIs. Rhodes and Madi Gipson had two each.

No. 3 Auburn improved to 28-4 overall and 4-3 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina fell to 24-7 overall and 2-5 in the league. The two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday, with games starting at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Auburn, already the nation's leader in runs scored, added to its total, all jammed into the second, third and fourth innings.

"We're trying to get everybody have that kind of confidence," Myers said. "We're moving in the direction we need to go to get better."

Cooper took the team-lead with her 10th homer. Rhodes tied her two batters later.

"It's what we were feeling. Our players were excited," Rhodes said.

Rhodes said the dugout could even sense something big was coming from Cooper.

"When she's kicking her leg up there high, we're feeling it," Rhodes said. "That at-bat was really good for her."

Cooper said she had her teammates' support. She could hear it from the dugout.

"'Can I get a high kick, higher.' They know my swing better than me. They said they called it. I said, 'y'all knew it before me.'"

The beneficiary of all of that was Carlson.

"I felt pretty good out there, knowing my defense was behind me and obviously scoring a lot of runs," she said. "It just makes you pitch relaxed."

Carlson improved to 7-0 in her first season in the SEC.

"I expected it to be difficult. The hitters in this conference are ridiculous," she said. "I'm just trying to go out there and do me, and hopefully it will work."