After adverse weather Saturday evening forced a doubleheader Sunday, No. 14 Auburn fell to No. 23 Kentucky, 7-0 and 7-3, respectively in Games 1 and 2.
Auburn (34-12, 9-8 in the SEC) only managed five hits combined between the two games, four of which came in the second game.
"We are sitting at 9-8 and we still have our own destiny in our hands," said Auburn head coach Mickey Dean. "But you have to play with some urgency and passion. You have to understand the importance of each game, of each pitch and each batter."
The Wildcats (28-18, 11-9 in the SEC) struck first in Game 1 when a 3-2 pitch was hit through the left side for a single. Kentucky added on to the lead with a three-run third inning before it tacked on three more in the bottom of the sixth.
Kentucky's Grace Baalman (7-8) kept Auburn at bay offensively as Alyssa Rivera's single during the top of the sixth inning was Auburn's lone hit in the game. However, Auburn did manage four walks against Baalman. Lexie Handley (6-2) struck out six of the 32 batters she faced with seven total hits and allowing seven runs (five earned) on 110 pitches.
In Game 2, Kentucky again scored in the bottom of the first with a bases-loaded fielder's choice. Auburn answered this time in its half of the second as Tannon Snow scored on a groundout and Kendall Veach hustled home from third on a wild pitch.
Kentucky answered with four runs in the bottom of the second to retake the lead. From there, Rivera doubled home Casey McCrackin in the third, but Kentucky responded again with single runs in the fourth and sixth innings to conclude its scoring.
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Like Handley, Ashlee Swindle (9-6) went six innings and struck out one to extend Auburn's streak of consecutive games with at least one pitching strikeout to 171 games, which dates back to 2016 and includes Dean's full tenure on the Plains.
The final game of the series between the two teams is on Monday at 6 p.m. CST.
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