FULLERTON, Calif. - Auburn's winning ways made the trip to California as the Tigers beat Loyola Marymount 9-2 and UTSA 7-1 to open their Judi Garman Classic schedule.
Playing on the campus of Cal State Fullerton, Auburn scored early and late runs in both games to move to 15-3 on the season and extending its winning streak to 10. It's the first time the Tigers have won 10 straight games since winning 15 from Feb. 8 to Feb. 22, 2018.
"We adjusted late well," said Auburn head coach Mickey Dean. "We fought. It wasn't two pretty games, but we fought. We made adjustments late in those two ballgames. You always wish you could've put them away early - and we had opportunities to do that - but we just didn't take advantage of that."
No. 21 Auburn scored single runs in each of the first three innings against Loyola Marymount, then added another in the fifth on Kendall Veach's fifth home run of the season. The Tigers' lead exploded to 9-0 after putting up five runs in the top of the seventh on a two-run double by Makenna Dowell and a three-run home run by Bree Fornis.
Makayla Martin, who started and earned her seventh win on the season, was lifted to start the seventh and that's when the Lions struck as Riley Ehlen hit a two-run home run off Chardonnary Harris. Martin went 6.0 innings, matching her season-high eight strikeouts, scattered two hits and didn't surrender a walk.
In the night cap, Lexie Handley got the start in the circle and went 4.1 innings and set an Auburn career-high with nine strikeouts, which is three shy of her college career as she struck out 12 against Oakland as a freshman at Akron in 2017. Ashlee Swindle entered in the fifth inning with the Tigers leading 3-1 and went on to record her first career save.
Against the Roadrunners, Auburn scored in the top of the first on a throwing error, then UTSA answered in the bottom half. The 1-1 tie stood until Brittany Maresette scored on a sacrifice fly in the third. The Tigers added another run in the fourth, before pouring on four in the seventh, including a run-scoring double by Veach for her 100th career hit.