In front of a sold out crowd of 1,621 fans at John Cropp Stadium on a gusty Saturday afternoon in Lexington, the No. 3 Auburn Tigers got two home runs in the top of the third inning from Kasey Cooper and Courtney Shea to score five in the inning, and added one more in the sixth to push the Tigers past Kentucky 6-5.
With Saturday’s result, Auburn captures the series coupling the result on Saturday with its 9-0 win on Friday night over No. 12 Kentucky. The Tigers improve to 32-4 on the season, and tie Kentucky in second place in the Southeastern Conference with an 8-3 record in league action. UK falls to 31-7 on the year and – along with Auburn – is just one game back of Florida for the SEC lead with an 8-3 SEC mark.
Kelsey Nunley picks up the loss, even though she pitched a great game for Kentucky, as she falls to 13-4 on the year. Auburn’s Makayla Martin gets the decision for the Tigers, and improves to 8-0 this year. Nunley struck out 11 batters on Saturday, just one off of her career-high 12 set twice this season.
The three-game SEC series will wrap up on Sunday at John Cropp Stadium at 1 p.m. ET in Lexington. Like Saturday, very limited amounts of tickets remain – and gates will open at Noon ET into the stadium. For those that can’t make it – Dave Baker and Brian Milam will have the call on the SEC Network+, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
Five. Auburn scored five runs in the top of the third inning on two home runs to left field, which gave the Tigers a commanding lead in the early going of the game. Kasey Cooper and Courtney Shea both hit what seemed to be normal pop flies to left, which got into the wind and carried out for homers, as they were both two-run shots.
With Kentucky trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Brooklin Hinz was on third base after a double allowed her to score Abbey Cheek and make it a 6-4 game at the time. Breanne Ray then hit a foul ball to the first base side, which was caught for the second out of the inning – and scored Hinz from third.
Abbey Cheek was the key player in the game for Kentucky, as she scored two runs, including Kentucky’s first run in the bottom of the second inning on a wild pitch.
Kentucky scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the second inning. Abbey Cheek advanced to first to lead off the inning on a dropped third strike, and was safe at the bag. After a Brooklin Hinz SAC bunt and a Breanne Ray 4-3 groundout, Cheek scored from third on a wild pitch. UK 1, AU 0
Auburn would score five times in the top of the third inning. After a lead-off single from Tiffany Howard, Kasey Cooper hit a homer to left to score two and put the Tigers on top. Maddie Gipson doubled and then scored on a Courtney Shea homer to give AU the 5-1 lead. AU 5, UK 1
Christian Stokes and Jenny Schaper would peg two back in the bottom of the fifth, as Stokes led off the inning with UK’s first hit of the game, and a double down the line in right and got to third on an error. Stokes scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Schaper and that cut the Auburn lead to 5-2. Schaper would come around to score on an RBI single from freshman Katie Reed. AU 5, UK 3
The Tigers put their sixth run of the game on the board in the top of the sixth inning via an Emily Carosone double to score Tiffany Howard from first, who led off the inning with a slap single. AU 6, UK 3
Kentucky hit back with two in the bottom of the sixth, as the middle of the order came up big again. Cheek walked on two illegal pitches and scored on an RBI double to right by Hinz. Hinz then scored on a foul out with one out to the first base side, to make it 6-5. Kentucky was unable to get a runner on base trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh. FINAL – No. 3 Auburn 6, No. 12 Kentucky 5
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by Chris Shoals
UK Media Relations