July 22, 2017
AUBURN, Ala. – Kasey Cooper made her final softball game at Jane B. Moore Field a memorable one as the Auburn alum and the USA Softball Women’s National Team defeated the Alabama All-Stars twice Saturday evening.
Cooper laced three hits between the two contests, including a solo home run in her final at-bat of the night.
“[Hitting the home run] was pretty awesome,” stated Cooper. “It sounds crazy, but that last at-bat I said ‘God, be with me’ and I just had that confidence.
“Having that great at-bat and having all the crowd stand up one last time ended on a good note on this field.”
Team USA defeated the Alabama All-Stars – a team made up of current collegiate players from the nearby area – in the first game of the day, 10-2, before concluding the doubleheader with a 7-0 shutout.
Auburn was well represented on the Alabama All-Stars with four current players and two coaches who once played for the Tigers.
KK Crocker, Victoria Draper, Ashlee Swindle and Kendall Veach all were heavily involved in the action.
Crocker recorded a single and had three putouts in the exhibitions against the national team.
“I’ve always wanted to play for Team USA, but to play against them was even better,” stated Crocker. “It was fun playing against Kasey; we had our little chat at second base for a little bit, so that was fun.”
Draper, who patrolled centerfield for nearly every inning Saturday night, reached base in three at-bats by way of a single and two walks. The Moulton, Ala. native also tallied multiple outs defensively.
“It was good competition,” said Draper. “I thought we did very well for only practicing two hours [Friday]. It was fun seeing Cooper here, too. I played with her the last four years and today I got to play against her.”
Swindle earned the nod to start the back end of the doubleheader and held the national team to just four hits. The rising sophomore didn’t allow a hit after the first inning, mixing pitch locations and speed through three and 2/3 innings.
“I feel like I did pretty good for my first time back,” stated Swindle. “It’s been a while since I pitched to live batters, so the first inning was a little jittery, but I calmed my nerves and got control of the ball and did good.”
Veach went 2-for-2 in the opener, highlighted by an RBI double, and saw defensive action at first base and behind the plate.
“It was awesome [to play Team USA],” said Veach. “When I got the call, I was ready. It was fun playing against Cooper, too.”
Former Auburn standouts Chris Steiner-Wilcoxson and Holly Currie returned to Jane B. Moore Field to serve as coaches for the Alabama All-Stars.
Next up for Cooper and Team USA is the Pan American Championship Qualifier in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Aug. 4-13.