Garcia's big night carries Auburn's run rule of Samford
AUBURN, Ala. - Matching her career best effort with five RBI, Lindsey Garcia secured No. 23 Auburn softball's (26-9) 10-0 victory in five innings at Samford (14-19) Wednesday evening at Samford Softball Stadium.
"I'm just always looking for a pitch I can hit down in the zone," Garcia said. "I'm just trying to stay relaxed and confident in the box. I just want to help the team any way that I can in any spot in the lineup."
The win was Auburn's 12th run rule of the season and the 15th shutout for the Tiger pitching staff.
Garcia drove in five runs off a pair of hits, including a double and a home run. Behind her efforts at the plate, the senior now leads the team with 31 RBI. Aspyn Godwin also turned in a multi-RBI performance as she knocked a two-run homer in the fourth.
"I have been focusing more on getting base hits," Godwin said. "I was in a slump for a while. I was just trying to make good contact. I hit it hard and hit it far. Our whole offense can do that. It is nice to know people have your back whether you hit a home run or strike out."
With a pair of walks and a single, Nelia Peralta continued to find her way on base as she has now reached safely in 34 of Auburn's 35 contests. Makayla Packer made personal history, swiping her 43rd base to stand third in school history.
"Samford has a solid pitching staff," said head Coach Mickey Dean. "They aren't going to blow it by you, but they are going to let you get yourself out. I thought our hitters showed a lot of maturity tonight going into deep count and having long at bats."
Despite issuing a pair of walks in the first inning, Maddie Penta responded with a dominating performance as she no-hit the Bulldogs through four innings. Penta retired 10 consecutive batters to end her outing. The right-hander struck out eight to improve to 14-4 on the season. Annabelle Widra tossed the final inning of the game, giving up the lone Samford hit.
Auburn continued its streak of first inning scoring in the road tilt. With a pair on via walks, Carlee McCondichie slapped a bunt to third. The throw to first sailed wide and allowed the Tigers to plate a run. Garcia extended the lead to 2-0 by leading off the third inning with a solo home run to straightaway center. The solo blast was the seventh of her senior season.
Auburn doubled its lead in the fourth as Godwin delivered her fourth homer of the season. The offense poured in another run as Denver Bryant delayed her break to home on a groundout to the catcher to score a run and give Garcia her second RBI of the night. Defensive woes continued for the Bulldogs in the inning as Auburn took advantage of a bobble at shortstop to plate a fourth run of the fourth to push the lead to 6-0.
Using four walks, Auburn manufactured the first run of the fifth inning with Peralta drawing the RBI with the bases-loaded free base. Garcia came up with the big hit of the inning as she cleared the bases with a double to left field to cap Auburn's second four-run inning of the game.
Auburn returns to Southeastern Conference play, hosting Ole Miss at Jane B. Moore Field this weekend. The series opens on Friday at 7 p.m. ET and will air on the SEC Network+.