Auburn softball opened up the Tiger Invite on Thursday with a 2-0 win over the Jacksonville Dolphins.
Freshman Maddie Penta started on the mound for the Tigers and pitched all seven innings. She allowed only four hits and two walks while striking out 10.
Head coach Mickey Dean was impressed with his freshman pitcher's performance.
“I thought she did well," Dean said. "My excitement comes from she had the night that she had, and she really didn’t have a couple pitches working for her tonight. Those are going to be things that we continue to work on, and as good as she is right now, she has that ability to be even better.”
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the second inning when Justus Perry put the Tigers on the board off Makayla Packer’s triple to right field. Auburn’s second run came in nearly identical fashion during the third inning as Sydney Cox capitalized on Tyler King’s triple to center field.
At the plate, the Tigers were led by Packer, who finished 2-for-3 with one RBI. Outside of Packer, Auburn struggled at the plate and finished the game with only six hits on 24 at-bats.
“We had three batters that I thought had good nights,” Dean said. “We just need to have better pitch selection. We’re letting strikes go by, and we’re swinging at bad pitches, and that’s not going to correlate to a lot of hits and a lot of runs.”
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Dean spoke earlier in the week about focusing on pitch selection, and that remains a pivotal point of change going into Friday's doubleheader with Murray State.
“We’re going to see good pitching out of Murray State,” Dean said. “Numbers don’t lie. When I look at their numbers, they have good pitching, and so we have to come out and we have to have better pitch selection and capitalize on those pitches where the pitcher misses her spot.”
The Tigers play Murray State at 2:30 p.m. CST and 5:00 p.m. CST on Friday. Both games will air on SEC Network-plus.
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