No. 23 Auburn blasts four homers, overwhelms Rebels
AUBURN, Ala. - Behind four home runs, No. 19 Auburn softball (27-9, 5-2 SEC) slugged its way to its fifth consecutive win, downing Ole Miss (20-15, 1-6 SEC) 8-2 in Friday's series opener at Jane B. Moore Field.
For the second time this season, Auburn homered four times in a single game. Bri Ellis sparked the scoring as she returned to her slugging ways with a 2-for-2 performance at the plate with a walk and a solo home run, the ninth of her sophomore season and the 29th of her career.
"It felt great,' Ellis said. "I've been struggling lately, in my head too much. I found a good pitch to hit tonight, and it worked out."
Aspyn Godwin, Aubrie Lisenby and Denver Bryant all went yard in Friday's contest. Bryant went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. Godwin and Lisenby both drove in two runs on their home run blasts.
"We have to be hitting up and down the order like we did tonight if we want to continue to have success," said head coach Mickey Dean. "We had production at the top. We had it at the middle. We had it at the bottom. That's what you like to see. Everyone is doing their job. We want to keep it there."
Maddie Penta continued to pile on the strikeout numbers as she fanned nine in the complete-game performance. Penta scattered two hits and a pair of walks while giving up just one earned run to improve to 15-4 on the season.
Ole Miss scored one run in the third inning, leading off with a solo home run from Paige Smith. The Rebels loaded the bases in the sixth and scored an unearned run on a passed ball. Penta would retire the next three batters she faced to limit the damage.
After exchanging a scoreless first inning, Ellis put the Tigers on the board with a solo home run to left field. With Bryant on base after a single to center, Godwin extended the lead to 3-0 with her second home run in as many games.
The Tigers continued their home run derby in the fourth inning. With KK McCrary on board via a walk, Lisenby homered to left field. Auburn drew up the same play again as Bryant homered after a walk issued to Ellis to put the Tigers up 7-1. The Tigers added a run in the fifth as Abbey Smith scored on a wild pitch.
"We're just focused on putting together a lot of quality at-bats," Lisenby said. "It was great to see that I had one leave the yard. Everyone was seeing it well, so it was really easy to cheer on my teammates tonight."
Auburn looks to secure its second consecutive conference series win on Saturday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. ET and is available on the SEC Network. Saturday is Military Appreciation Day at Jane B. Moore Field.