GULF SHORES, Ala. ------ Sophomore Cassie Daniels tossed a five-hitter and struck out 10, while junior Jyssica Pepper connected on a solo home run for the game's lone run, as the No. 8 Auburn Montgomery softball team defeated No. 15 Lindsey Wilson 1-0 in the finale of the Gulf Coast Invitational on Sunday.
With the win, the Warhawks improved to 14-1 on the year, while the Blue Raiders fell for just the second time and now stand at 14-2.
Daniels (6-0) recorded her second shutout of the season in the victory and posted her second double-digit strikeout game on the year. The Valley Grande, Ala., native, fell just two strikeouts shy of her career-high 12 set earlier this month against Emmanuel.
In the victory, Daniels scattered just five hits and used strikeouts to work around four of the five.
In the second inning, she gave up a lead-off single, before a sacrifice and a passed ball put a runner on third with one out. Daniels buckled down and retired the next two hitters via strikeout to close the inning. Again in the fourth inning, she gave up a lead-off single before striking out the side and working around a stolen base and passed ball to put the runner in scoring position. In the seventh inning, the Kristina Krupinski led off the frame with a hit, while Lauren Payne added a one-out knock. Daniels maintained her composure and closed the game by getting Blue Raider outfielder Travatia Bowden to strikeout looking.
Pepper provided the necessary offense to make the pitching gem stand up. The native of Madison, Ala., took a 1-1 pitch from Krupinski (2-1) and hit it over the centerfield fence for her fourth homer of the year. Prior to the home run, the Warhawks had just two base runners and one hit, a first-inning single by Pepper.
Pepper finished 2 for 3 with the home run and a stolen base, while senior Holly Saint and sophomore Katie Spain each added hits in the win. Krupinski led Lindsey Wilson with two hits.
AUM will return to action on Wednesday, March 13, when it travels to Lakeland, Fla., to take on Southeastern University in a doubleheader. First pitch against the Fire is slated for 2 p.m.