AUBURN, Ala. — In its first four games of the season, Auburn softball put up just 11 runs. On Saturday, the Tigers had 11 runs by the middle of the second inning.
With the pitching ensuring No. 13 Auburn’s shutout streak would reach five games, Auburn brought all the offense in an 18-0 win in five innings over Tennessee Tech on Saturday. The Tigers then followed that up with a 9-1 win in six innings over Furman.
Auburn only had three extra-base hits in its first four games — none of them home runs. Justus Perry, Kendall Veach and Tannon Snow all left the yard Saturday, with Veach and Snow’s homers snapping 0-for streaks to start the season. Perry had a home run in both games.
“It was just a matter of time,” Auburn coach Mickey Dean said. “I met with a couple of the hitters this morning, and they’re good to go. They were just pressing. … They relaxed. You could tell. There was a big difference today.”
The Tigers walked 10 times against TTU and had four hit batters. Whenever the Golden Eagles threw strikes, though, Auburn made them pay. Six of nine starters had base hits in the game, which started with an 8-run 1st in which Auburn sent 14 batters to the plate.
Perry supplied 5 RBI with a three-run bomb and an RBI double, and freshman Taylon Snow had a team-high 3 hits for 4 RBI. Through the first six games of the season, the younger Snow has 10 hits.
“I’m just going out there and playing the game I love,” Taylon Snow said. “I just wanted to be able to relax and not tense up or be too nervous. I just wanted to go out there and play.”
Veach’s home run in the 4th came right after Perry’s bomb, but the junior had the longer one — one that cleared the scoreboard at Jane B. Moore Field.
In the circle, junior Makayla Martin pitched three innings with only three hits allowed before turning it over to sophomore Ashlee Swindle for her first work of the season. She had a pair of perfect innings with one strikeout to complete the run-rule win.
“The matchup was good for her,” Dean said. “The key for Ashlee is that changeup. She had it working. So she was able to go to work and get some easy outs.”
Swindle gave the ball to senior Kaylee Carlson for the second game, and she pitched four clean innings before Furman scraped together an unearned run in the top of the 5th thanks to an error. Carlson only allowed 3 hits and had 5 strikeouts.
Auburn didn’t put up nearly as much offense on Furman as it did Tennessee Tech. But both games featured fast starts. Perry and Veach each brought a run home in the 1st inning.
Alyssa Rivera, who ended her cold spell with three hits Saturday, had a two-out RBI single in the 3rd before Tannon Snow’s home run. The sophomore, who missed all of 2017 while battling epilepsy, had her first home run since a game with Washington in May 2016.
“It was so good,” Tannon Snow said. “It’s so, so good to be back out there on the field.”
Perry added another home run in the 5th inning to put the Tigers back up by five runs. She brought her RBI count on the day to 8 with a single in the 6th.
“It was a lot more fun seeing everyone else having a good time and smiling and getting what they deserved,” Perry said. “It’s always nice what you get what you work for.”
Veach followed Perry with another RBI single, and Tannon Snow ended it with a run rule-forcing, bases-loaded single off the wall.
With weather canceling the Sunday action in the Plainsman Invitational, Auburn finished its first week of the season under Mickey Dean with a perfect 6-0 record. The Tigers return to action Wednesday night at in-state foe Troy. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT.