Auburn softball claimed its second consecutive series win with a 4-2 victory over No. 12 Kentucky Saturday at Jane B. Moore Field.
The Tigers stayed consistent by doing all their damage early, scoring all four runs in the first two innings.
Maddison Koepke had her second multi-hit game in conference play this season and was 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI to turn in a strong performance. Koepke now has four multi-hit games in her Auburn career.
“I’m just trying to seize every opportunity that I’m given and pull through for my teammates,” Koepke said. “I’m just making the most of every at-bat that I am given.”
Maddie Penta earned her first victory in conference play after turning in a complete-game performance. She gave up two runs off four hits and a pair of walks but also recorded four strikeouts. Penta now improves to 8-6 on the year.
“Great performance from Maddie,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “She let her defense work behind her and didn’t try to do it all herself. I told her that she only made one mistake, and it was walking the nine-hole hitter with two outs to face the leadoff batter.”
Following a 1-2-3 first inning from Penta, Makenna Dowell and Tyler King led off the bottom half of the first with back-to-back singles. Sydney Cox moved the pair into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, and Lindsey Garcia fired a ball to third base for a base hit.
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Dowell was called out for interference after the ball smacked off her back in foul territory, but it was later reviewed and determined that it was in play.
Alyssa Rivera drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single up the middle. Justus Perry continued the scoring for the Tigers with an RBI single to center with two outs.
Errors plagued the Wildcats in the second inning, which allowed Auburn to add to its lead. Koepke drove in Aspyn Godwin with an RBI double off the wall in left-center after Godwin reached base on a fielding error at shortstop for Kentucky.
A pair of errors from the Wildcat circle allowed Dowell to plate a second unearned run to extend Auburn’s lead to 4-0.
Penta kept Kentucky off the board until the fifth inning. A two-out walk to Kentucky turned over the lineup, and the Wildcats made Auburn pay with a two-run home run to right-center.
After allowing a two-out single, Penta retired the next seven Wildcats she faced to end the game.
“Kentucky is not going to lay down tomorrow,” Dean said. “We’re going to have to go out and play really good ball. It’s nice to get a series win and to have a chance to get a sweep tomorrow. There will be a lot of pitches between now and then, and we’ll just have to make sure we battle from beginning to end.”
Going for the sweep, the Tigers are set to host Kentucky in the series finale on Sunday. The first pitch is set for 1 p.m. CST and will air on SEC Network-plus.
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