AUBURN, Ala. -- Texas A&M softball head coach Jo Evans earned her 1,100th-career victory Saturday as the Aggies slugged their way past No. 6 Auburn, 13-6, at Jane B. Moore Field.
"I had no idea," head coach Jo Evans said of her milestone victory. "When the game was over, Coach Jackson came over told me it was my 1,100th win. I thought 'when did that happen?' For me, it always makes me nostalgic about all the players that have contributed to those wins. Some may have never had a big at bat, but they are my kids. They have enriched my life so much. For this to happen with this team, I am thrilled. I love this ball club. I just appreciate my staff and those people who have helped me get where I am."
The Aggies (37-16, 9-14 SEC) quickly took a 5-0 lead, plating four runs in the first and one in the second. Freshman Kaitlyn Alderink reached on a fielder's choice, before sophomore Tori Vidales singled to left center. Sophomore Kristen Cuyos then belted her team-leading 16th home run of the season to left. Freshman Samantha Show followed with a double down the left field line and was driven in on a senior Cali Lanphear double.
In the second inning, sophomore Erica Russell hit a leadoff home run, her first of the season and third of her career, to right field.
"I love that kid," Evans said. "She is a great defender, so we always want her in the game. Something turned for her a week ago when she got that hit against Florida with the big RBI. She got confidence and she is swinging the bat great up there. What she is doing really well is working the strike zone. I loved seeing her hit that home run. Our team was excited for her because she is such a great teammate. As fast as that kid is, I have never seen anyone run a slower trot around the bases for a home run, but she earned it."
Auburn (45-9, 15-7 SEC) responded with four runs in the bottom half on four hits and an error, before scoring two runs in the third to take a 6-5 lead.
Sophomore Ashley Walters evened the game in the fourth, driving in freshman Keeli Milligan on an infield single. With runners on the corners and two outs, Show sent a 3-1 pitch over the wall in center for her 11th dinger of the season. Senior Cali Lanphear followed with a solo home run to right to give the Aggies a 10-6 advantage.
Walters added to the lead in the fifth with a three-run homer to left, tying the team's season-high for most home runs in the game at five.
Show recorded her 23rd win of the season, throwing 1.1 innings of relief, giving up a hit and two unearned runs with a strikeout. Sophomore Trinity Harrington, who got the start for Texas A&M, earned her first save of the season. The Greeley, Colo., native threw 5.2 innings, giving up eight hits, four runs and four strikeouts.
"I am so proud of our kids," Evans continued. "Our hitters did such a great job. I thought they controlled the strike zone. They were patient and aggressive in the strike zone. What they did back-to-back with two outs (in the fourth inning) made me really proud. Defensively, we made some mistakes, but I was really excited for our pitching today. I thought they went out there and took care of business. Auburn has such a potent offense, so you never feel like you have enough runs."
The Aggies will look to sweep Auburn on Sunday at 1 p.m. on the SEC Network's Bases Loaded coverage as well as SEC Network +.