Auburn played an opening doubleheader in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame classic today. They knocked off Weber State, 4-2 but were defeated by Northwestern, 2-1. Auburn plays Northwestern and Oklahoma tomorrow afternoon and evening.
Game One: Weber State
After the second inning, it looked like this would be a high-scoring shootout. However, it became the exact opposite of that. The second inning left Auburn up, 3-2. Only one run was scored after that, coming in the top of the seventh inning.
Auburn's Shelby Lowe recorded the win and struck out nine Wildcat hitters, including McKell McCuistion, one of the best hitters in the Big Sky Conference. Lowe struck out McCuistion all three times. Annabelle Widra was the starter, but was pulled early when the Wildcat hitters scored two runs. Lowe came in clutch and got the Tigers the victory, only allowing two hits.
Auburn got its three runs after an Aspyn Godwin three-run RBI double. After that, Denver Bryant hit her first home run of the 2023 season, leading Auburn to its 4-2 victory.
It was a cold day in Oklahoma City with temperatures staying in the low 40s and mild wind for the majority of the game. Auburn overcame the cold to get its 22nd win of the season. Weber State fell to 6-16 in its 2023 campaign. Auburn could not celebrate too much, as it had to play Northwestern, one of the best teams in the Big Ten Conference, right after the conclusion of this game.
Game Two: Northwestern
Auburn dropped its second game of the day to Northwestern, 2-1. Auburn never led in the game and eventually fell short. In almost all of Auburn's losses this season, it has come off a struggling offensive performance.
It has rarely fallen on the pitching as in four of its losses, Auburn scored one run or less.
Northwestern got its first run off a passed ball in the third inning. Maddie Penta recorded her fifth double-digit strikeout effort of the season. In the fifth inning, Auburn put two players in scoring position, but was unable to bring any of them in.
Auburn struggled to get the offense rolling all day. Even in the opening game, Auburn hitters struggled with cold weather, paired with some tough competition.
This was the third all-time meeting between these two programs and the first time Northwestern has defeated Auburn since its first meeting, back in 2003. Auburn fell to 22-6 on the season, while Northwestern got its 10th win of the season to climb to 10-7.
Auburn will have the chance at revenge against Northwestern tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. CST, and the game will be televised on USA Softball. Following the game, Auburn will take on No. 1 Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m. CST in what should be the toughest test of the season for the Auburn Tigers.
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TP is a senior from Montgomery, Alabama, majoring in journalism. He started with The Plainsman in fall 2022.