After a heartbreaking loss in Game 1 and a frustrating shutout in Game 2, Auburn softball finally got over the hump in Gainesville.
The No. 4 Tigers avoided a road sweep at the hands of No. 2 Florida with a 1-0 victory on Monday night. Kaylee Carlson bounced back from her first loss of the season with a complete game shutout, and Kendall Veach provided the only run of the game with an early solo homer.
Auburn (28-5 overall, 4-3 SEC) moved back above .500 in early conference play and snapped Florida’s 20-game winning streak, which was the second longest in college softball. Carlson (15-1, 0.88 ERA) stranded 7 Florida runners in the victory, which included several tense jams for the Auburn defense.
Veach delivered the only run of the game in the top of the second.
In this pitcher’s duel, Veach made all the difference in the top of the second inning. As the fifth batter of the game for Auburn, Veach launched a home run to left-center field, extending her overall team lead with eight long balls on the season.
— Auburn Softball (@AuburnSoftball) March 27, 2017
Veach represented the only runner Auburn had the first time through the batting order. She didn’t stay on the base paths for long. Her home run represented only the second one the dominant Gators’ pitching staff had allowed all season.
With Carlson twirling a gem in the circle, Veach’s bomb was all Auburn needed to avoid the sweep in Gainesville.
Player of the game
SP Kaylee Carlson: CG, 0 ER, 3 H, 5 BB and 4 K
Monday night was far from the best performance of Carlson’s season — she pitched a perfect game last weekend — but it might be the most important. Carlson pitched out of several tight situations to get the shutout win, including the fourth inning, when Florida had runners on second and third with just one out.
Carlson avoided trouble all the way to the seventh inning, when she stranded a leadoff walk by getting three straight outs with the potential winning run at the plate.
What’s next for Auburn softball
The Tigers continue their long road run with a weekend series at SEC foe Georgia.
Auburn will try to build off of their Monday night success next weekend when it travels to Athens to face No. 16 Georgia. The series is a traditional Friday-Saturday-Sunday one after the Saturday through Monday series at Florida.
Georgia is 26-7 on the season with a 2-4 record in SEC play and it will come off three straight losses at the hands of LSU.
Auburn softball box score vs. Florida