Warhawks sweep Emmanuel, continue early season streak | Schools
Despite playing in frigid temperatures, the Auburn Montgomery softball team’s bats remained hot as the Warhawks defeated Emmanuel 8-0 and 10-2 in their first two Southern States Athletic Conference matchups of the season.
Katie Spain drove in seven runs in the two contests, surpassing last year’s RBI total after only 10 games, while Cassie Daniels struck out a career-high 12 batters in Game 2.
Eighth-ranked AUM moves to 10-0 (2-0) with the victories, while the Lions are now 1-7 (0-4). Both games were played with wind chills below 40 degrees, with occasional flurries falling from the sky.
The top five hitters in the lineup did most of the damage in Game 1, combining for nine of AUM’s 11 hits and driving in seven runs. Rachel Stuart, Jyssica Pepper, Spain and Kayla Hale all had two-hit performances.
The Warhawks plated four runs in the first inning to jump out to an early advantage. Spain hit a double down the left field line for her first two RBIs of the day, and Hale drilled an opposite field two-run shot to make it 4-0. The homer was the second of the season for the Montgomery native.
After a leadoff single from Pepper in the third inning, Spain crushed her team-leading fourth home run of the season to add two more runs.
That was more than enough run support for freshman pitcher Taylor Powell, who shut out the Lions over six innings for an abbreviated complete-game victory. Powell (3-0) struck out three, allowing three hits and four walks. She has not given up an earned run in 19 2/3 innings this season.
AUM added two more runs in the sixth inning to bring the mercy rule into effect. Emma Johansen led off with her first triple of the season, and ended up scoring on the play after a throwing error by Emmanuel shortstop Samantha Rao. Pepper scored Laci Driggers on a RBI single up the middle later in the frame to end the game.
Haley Shinall (0-3) allowed all eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings for Emmanuel.
The Warhawks once again grabbed a big early lead in Game 2, taking a 6-0 advantage after two innings.
Driggers and Pepper executed a delayed double steal to put two runners in scoring position. Spain reached on a fielder’s choice to plate Driggers, while Hale scored Pepper on a RBI groundout. Driggers had three steals in the two games, and Pepper is now a perfect 6 for 6 in stolen base attempts this season.
Pepper then broke the game open in the second, hitting a bases-loaded triple to the gap in right-center with two outs. The triple was her team-leading third of the season. Spain doubled into the other gap in left-center to make it 6-0. AUM has outscored opponents 38-0 in the first two innings of games in 2013.
Daniels (4-0) made sure that those runs would stand up for the Warhawks. The sophomore right-hander struck out the first five batters of the game en route to her career-best performance. She gave up just two unearned runs in the six-inning complete-game win, allowing two hits and one walk.
Catcher Holly Saint picked up her second RBI of the year on a sacrifice fly in the third, while Spain hit her second of three doubles in the fourth to score Driggers and complete her seven-RBI day. She now has 19 runs batted in this year after driving in a total of 15 in 2012. The game ended on a Lauren Shaw single in the sixth inning. Katie Cornelius scored from first on the play, aided by a throwing error from center fielder Nikki Lowery.
Lion pitcher Cristina Insua (0-2) surrendered six runs (five earned) on four hits and a walk over the first two innings.
The Warhawks now have five days off before playing in the Gulf Coast Invitational in Gulf Shores, Ala., next weekend. AUM’s first games in the tournament will be against Campbellsville (9 a.m.) and LSU-Alexandria (1 p.m.) on Friday.
Source: AUM Sports Information Director
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