Auburn's time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was not long as the 12th-seeded Tigers dropped Tuesday's SEC Tournament opener against 13-seed South Carolina 3-1.
Maddie Penta started in the circle and gave up one run against the Gamecocks in the top of the first. She managed to limit the damage to that one run after South Carolina loaded the bases.
In the bottom of the first, Alyssa Rivera doubled to center field and later stole third base. Rivera's stolen base was her 42nd career stolen base which tied her for third-most in school history. Makenna Dowell was able to hit a sacrifice fly to push Rivera in for the Tigers' sole run of the day.
In the second inning, Penta gave up another run, and KK Dismukes was brought in for relief. In one of her best career relief performances, Dismukes pitched a career-high six innings. She retired the first eight batters she faced before giving up one run off four hits and one walk.
“[KK] did a great job," said head coach Mickey Dean. "She did a very nice job.”
In the top of the seventh inning, South Carolina extended its lead to 3-1 after Cayla Drotar singled to left field, pushing the runner home. Auburn got two outs on the play, but Drotar and Justus Perry collided at first base as Perry was attempting to tag Drotar.
Both players had to leave the game after an injury timeout.
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The Tigers were unable to produce in the bottom of the seventh as they hit three straight groundouts to end the game.
"We started off great," Dean said. "We hit some hard line drives late, but right at South Carolina.”
Auburn is now eliminated from the SEC Tournament and will have to wait until Sunday to learn if they were selected for an NCAA Regional. The NCAA Softball Selection Show will air on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. CST on Sunday.
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