Auburn wrapped up its series sweep against Southeast Missouri State on Sunday, downing the Redhawks 3-1. With the win, the Tigers are 3-0 to start their 2021 season.
The scoring started in the second with a two-out RBI double from senior shortstop Makenna Dowell. Tyler King and Kaylee Horton continued the rally with RBI hits of their own, notching three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Despite the second inning, the Tigers' bats were kept quiet by the Redhawks' Rachel Rook and Paytience Holman. Auburn had baserunners in every inning and worked counts but failed to find holes in the defense, along with seven strikeouts as a team.
Auburn may have struggled offensively, but Dowell had a big day at the plate as she finished 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
“I’ve been struggling recently at the plate, trying to change too many things," Dowell said. “So today, I just went back to my usual way, stayed calm, and it worked out for me.”
Freshman Maddie Penta started in the circle after tossing a no-hitter the day before. She threw seven innings and only allowed one run on two hits. Although her fatigue showed at some points, she was able to work out of trouble in the 5th and seventh innings.
“I did have a lot of success this weekend,” Penta said. “But I’m looking for these SEC schools and College World Series, so I gotta get better.”
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Despite the hot start, head coach Mickey Dean expects a better performance from his team on defense.
“As good as our defense was yesterday, we had a so-so showing today," Dean said. “The stats sheet says three, but I think we had four errors. We need to play cleaner than that.”
Coach Dean also wants his other pitchers, such as Lexie Handley and Samantha Yarborough, to work better in practice to earn starts.
“They’ve been struggling a little bit in our scrimmages.” Coach Dean said. “I just want to see a little more consistency in our intrasquad scrimmages.”
The Tigers' next game will take place in Jacksonville, Florida. They face off against South Carolina at the Osprey/Dolphin invitational. That game starts at 12 p.m. CST on Friday.
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