Returning home after a series win in College Station, Texas, over Texas A&M, Auburn softball took on Alabama State in a midweek contest on Tuesday. Behind Maddie Penta’s dominant outing and a trio of Auburn hits in the bottom of the third, the Tigers defeated the Hornets 5-0.
Auburn is now 13-0 all-time against Alabama State.
“It was big for her confidence,” said head coach Mickey Dean about Penta’s performance. “She worked ahead and really attacked the hitters. Had some pitches that were moving for her good today.”
Penta tossed six innings of scoreless ball, allowing two hits and walking one, while striking out 11 batters.
Abby Tissier recorded the first hit for either team in the bottom of the third with her single up the middle with one out. Maia Engelkes then entered the game as a pinch hitter and hit a long drive to right-center field.
It hit the wall and Kaylee Horton, who was pinch-running for Tissier, rounded third and scored the first run to give Auburn the lead.
The next batter, Makenna Dowell, ripped a line drive to right field, scoring another Auburn run and extending the lead to 2-0.
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“It’s all about when you have the hits,” Dean said. “It’s all about timely hitting, and today from the third inning on, we had some good timely hits.”
Alabama State led off the fourth with its first hit, a double from Madison Myers that never left the infield. Myers bunted a ball over Auburn third baseman Lindsey Garcia’s head and then raced towards second base, which was bare of any Auburn defenders.
It put a runner at second with no one down.
Penta worked out of the threat with a strikeout, a groundout and another strikeout to end the Hornet’s scoring chance.
A pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt to start the bottom of the fifth put Dowell at the plate for the second time with runners in scoring position. Once again, Dowell came through.
The senior lifted a ball to left field and while it was caught, it was deep enough for Kelsey Schmidt to tag from third and put Auburn ahead 3-0.
Auburn added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. Garcia hit her team-leading fourth home run of the season in the inning, a solo shot to left field. Justus Perry earned a four-pitch walk and Carlee McCondichie pinch ran for the graduate student.
McCondichie came around to score after stealing second base, advancing to third on a throwing error and scoring on a dead ball, all in one play.
KK Dismukes came on to pitch the seventh inning, where she allowed a leadoff walk but then retired the next three batters to secure the win.
It’s Auburn’s third win in its last four games.
“I think we’re in a really good spot,” Tissier said. “I know we were challenged early in the season and I would much rather see us challenged early in the season than late in the season. I think that our best days are still ahead of us.”
Auburn will next make the trip up I-85 to Atlanta to face Georgia State on Wednesday. First pitch for the midweek road game is set for 5 p.m. CST.
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