For the first time in Auburn softball history, the Tigers have lost their home opener.
Following a 3-2 weekend in Clearwater, Florida, the Tigers dropped their first game in Auburn this year to Kennesaw State, 4-1 on Thursday evening at Jane B. Moore Field.
“We have to get better,” head coach Mickey Dean said following the loss. “This game is played by people and individuals, and we have to go out and perform. We have to coach well. We didn’t do much of anything right tonight.”
The Owls attacked Ashlee Swindle early, with Jade Lee reaching on error.
The Tigers responded in the second inning after a single from senior Justus Perry scored Jadia Jones.
From there, the bats went cold. Auburn failed to reach base again until the bottom of the seventh when Alyssa Rivera reached on a pinch-hit single. Freshman Maia Engelkes was hit by a pitch on the next at-bat, but Brittany Maresette grounded out to short to end the game.
Following the loss, the Tigers were looking for improvement going forward.
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“I wouldn’t use the word pleased; I would use discouraged,” Perry said.
Moving forward, with five games still remaining for Auburn in the Plainsman Invitational, the Tigers will look to build off the loss.
“It’s gonna be a challenge to get everyone on the same page,” Perry said. “We’ve gotta get everyone working, we’ve gotta get everyone flipping it at the same time, we’ve just gotta get more cylinders working. We can’t have one person be good at running bases and one person be good at hitting, you’ve gotta have 25 people well rounded, everyone kicking on the same gears.”
Dean echoed similar sentiments after the game.
“Just because you have a name across your jersey that doesn’t give you the right to anything,” Dean said. “
Auburn will start its Friday doubleheader at 2:30 p.m. CST against UNC-Wilmington with the second contest coming at 5:00 p.m. CST against Alabama State.
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