Auburn clinched a massive series win Sunday afternoon with a dominant 9-2 win over Mississippi State in game three to get back to.500 in the SEC.
Maddie Penta pitched a complete game, and the win granted Auburn its first SEC road series win this season. It was also Auburn's first league series win since its win against South Carolina, which was four series ago in March.
"It was hot," said head coach Mickey Dean. "It was a long game. It was a crazy game. Every other inning, our offense was ready to explode. They did a really nice job. Maddie Penta really batted. I know she was tired. It's great to win a road series. It's been a while."
Though Mississippi State scored two runs, only one was earned against Penta who allowed seven hits and two walks. The sophomore also struck out 11 batters – her SEC season high.
Penta climbed the Auburn record books even more on Sunday as her historic season continues. Penta’s strikeout total sits at 232 now which is the seventh most in one season at Auburn, and her win total rose to 22, which is the sixth most in a single season.
"It's been a while since we've put these types of numbers up in conference play," Penta said. "It shows just what kind of team we are. I'm glad we were able to bring that to the table today and show what we are made of."
On offense, it was the freshmen who stole the show again. Bri Ellis tied the Auburn freshman record for most home runs in a season on a solo blast to bring her home run total to 18 for the season.
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Freshman Natalie Peralta had three hits against the Bulldogs, including a solo home run to give her 10 home runs on the season. The freshman duo marked the first time in program history that Auburn has had two freshmen hit double-digit home runs in one season.
"I was seeing the ball a lot better today," Peralta said. "I went up there looking for one pitch, and that's what I got. This team has brought out the best in me, and I am so thankful for them."
To start the scoring, Ellis launched her solo shot in the second inning before freshman Aubrie Lisenby increased the lead to two with an RBI single. Freshman Riley McNemar put down a sacrifice bunt later in the second inning, and when the throw to first sailed, Aspyn Godwin scored to make the lead three.
Continuing the big frame, Lindsey Garcia hit a sacrifice fly, and Jessie Blane brought in another run on a fielder’s choice to give Auburn a quick 5-0 lead.
Auburn scored again in the fourth inning after a dropped pop up from Mississippi State allowed Makayla Packer to score from first base.
Peralta’s home run came in the fifth inning and a Sydney Cox RBI triple a couple at-bats later grew Auburn’s lead even more. Garcia grabbed her second RBI of the game with a single to put Auburn up by nine. Garcia was the lone Tiger to record multiple RBIs in the contest.
The Bulldogs got two runs back in the bottom of the fifth, but two flawless innings after from Penta meant Auburn cruised to a conference victory.
Next for Auburn is its final nonconference game of the season with a road trip to Alabama State on Wednesday. The game begins at 5 p.m. CST and can be watched on Alabama State’s YouTube channel.
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