GULF SHORES - Auburn started the 2019 season with an offensive explosion as the Tigers knocked off Tennessee State 11-4 before beating Western Kentucky 8-0 in five innings. Kendall Veach fueled the statistical outburst with a 4-for-4, two home run performance against TSU. The senior catcher added to her totals with a solo home run against the Hilltoppers later in the afternoon.
On the day, nationally-ranked Auburn hit five home runs as both Casey McCrackin and Alyssa Rivera had one against WKU.
Veach opened the day with a run-scoring hit in the top of the first when she plated McCrackin with a single to left field. Patton Akers responded with a solo home run for Tennessee State in the bottom half of the first.
The 1-1 score stood until the top of the fourth when Rivera singled back up the middle scoring Veach from third. Rivera and Brittany Maresette, who pinch ran for Justus Perry, both scored on a fielder's choice.
Again, TSU answered with a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning. However, Veach extended the Tigers' lead to 5-3 with her first home run of the season. An inning later, Veach struck again with a three-run home run that followed McCrackin scoring on a fielding error. Morgan Podany doubles home Carmyn Greenwood the next inning to make it 10-3, Auburn, before Taylon Snow plated Podany on a sacrifice fly.
Tennessee State added its fourth run of the game on a two-out bases-loaded fielder's choice, before a strikeout ended the game.
Against WKU, Makayla Martin showed her dominance as the senior right-hander allowed only two hits and struck out seven without issuing a walk through five innings. As Martin kept the Hilltoppers grounded, Rivera continued her hot start to the season with a 3-for-3 performance, including a solo home run that was part of three home runs in four batters for the Tigers. McCrackin and Veach had the other two against WKU.
Snow brought the game to an early end with a two-out bases-loaded single through the right side that plated Greenwood and Maresette.