LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A five-run third inning carried No. 3 Auburn softball to a 6-5 victory over No. 14/12 Kentucky and gives the Tigers their third-straight SEC series victory. The Tigers improved to 32-4 on the year and 8-3 on the season while the Wildcats fell to 31-7 and 8-3 during the wild and windy game on Saturday afternoon.
"It was a heck of a ballgame," head coach Clint Myers said after the game. "We swung pretty good and had great pitching. Makayla didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning and Rachael just right away, slammed the door.
Auburn outhit the Wildcats 10-3 with half the Tigers' hits going for extra bases. With gusts of winds approaching 40 MPH, the Tigers used the wind to their advantage lofting two home runs over the left-field fence.
The Tigers' bats heated up in the third inning connecting on four of those extra base hits with a pair of two-run homers and doubles to reclaim the lead after Kentucky scored a run during the second.
Tiffany Howard led off the third with a single and then scored on Kasey Cooper's 11th homerun of the season. Carlee Wallace doubled and was drove in by Madi Gipson's double before Courtney Shea hit her sixth homerun of the season to put Auburn ahead 5-1.
Freshman Makayla Martin took the win improving to 8-0 on the season and turned the ball over to the bullpen during the sixth. Senior Rachael Walters claimed her first save of the season throwing the final two innings and struck out the last four batters she faced.
The home Wildcats clawed their way back into the game with a pair of two-run frames during the fifth and sixth inning but Emily Carosone's RBI double in the top of the sixth proved to be the difference in the game. Carosone drove in Howard who reached base all four at bats going 3-for-4 and scoring twice.
"We have a chance to do something that is rarely done in the SEC and that's sweeping a ranked opponent on the road," Myers said. "We have to lock in and get focused for tomorrow for a very good Kentucky game, I'm excited for tomorrow."
Auburn and Kentucky close out the series tomorrow at 12 p.m.