Auburn blasts East Tennessee State to open NCAA Regional play

Updated: May. 19, 2017 at 10:44 PM CDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (Auburn Athletics)  – The No. 8 Auburn softball team used a 10-run fourth inning to key an 11-0 victory by run-rule against East Tennessee State Friday afternoon. The Tigers (47-10) earned their fifth NCAA Regional victory by run-rule all-time.

"I thought it was a good game," said head coach Clint Myers. "We showed our philosophy of having good pitching. Makayla (Martin) did a phenomenal job in the circle. We played good defense and had no errors. Everything was basically routine and timely hitting. That was a key thing.

"A lot of people got to come off the bench. We had three pinch-hits in the ballgame. We haven't done that in a long time, so it was a good ballgame for us."

Makayla Martin improved her record to 19-5 after tossing a one-hit shutout. The sophomore struck out five in her fifth shutout of the season. Martin ended the contest retiring 13 of the last 14 batters she faced.

Kendall Veach led the offense with a 2-for-2 showing and scored a game-high three runs. Seven other players tallied a hit, including Carlee Wallace, who launched a three-run double.

Auburn opened the scoring in the second. Veach launched a triple that nearly cleared the fence to get things going at the plate. Courtney Shea then laced a run-scoring single to right to make it 1-0.

Following a clean third from both sides, the Tigers opened the floodgates in the home half of the fourth by scoring 10 runs.

Much like the second, Veach kick-started the offense with a base knock. Following a walk to Shea, Jenna Abbott drilled an RBI single through the right side. Casey McCrackin followed that up with a squeeze bunt that she legged out for a single and brought in another to make it 3-0.

Consecutive walks to Victoria Draper and Kasey Cooper loaded the bases for the heart of the order. Wallace then belted a bases-clearing double to increase the advantage to 6-0. Auburn added another run with a free pass with the bases loaded by Veach.

Bree Fornis lifted an RBI single and Justus Perry notched an RBI on a sacrifice fly to make it 9-0. Whitney Jordan brought in the inning's final run with a single to center. When the dust settled, Auburn had racked up 10 runs on six hits and saw 15 batters come to the plate.

Martin closed out the game by striking out the final batter from the Buccaneers (29-25), elevating the Tigers to an 11-0 win.

(Courtesy: Auburn Athletics)