The Auburn softball team recorded its 20th shutout of the season Friday night, defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks 1-0 at Carolina Softball Stadium.
The victory marked ace Maddie Penta’s sixth shutout of the season and her fourth in SEC play, tying her for fifth-most in a single season in Auburn history. Penta’s four SEC shutouts are the most recorded by an Auburn pitcher since Holly Currie in 2005. As a team, the Tigers are now tied with the 2017 pitching staff for third most shutouts in single-season history.
Penta held the Gamecocks to one hit until the sixth inning — a leadoff single to open the game. She ended the game allowing four hits and three walks, leaving seven runners stranded on base.
Penta ended the night with 10 strikeouts, accounting for her ninth double-digit strikeout contest of 2023. Leading the SEC in wins (22), Penta is now tied for seventh in single-season strikeout history.
Auburn managed seven hits in its Friday matchup against the Gamecocks. Jessie Blaine put up a multi-hit effort in the batter's box, going 2-for-2 with a walk.
The Tigers remained scoreless until the fourth inning despite getting the leadoff runner on base in the first and second innings. In the fourth inning, two singles from Bri Ellis and Blaine put two on base for Auburn with one out.
The Gamecocks erased one runner using a fielder's choice, but Auburn’s Icess Tresvik advanced to second, putting two runners in scoring position as Makayla Packer came up to bat. Packer came up clutch with a two-out single to send pinch-runner Skylar Elkins home.
The hit marked Packer’s 100th hit of her collegiate career. Tresvik also attempted to make it home on the play, but South Carolina made the play at home plate to keep the Tigers at a one-run lead.
In the seventh inning, the Gamecocks closed in on the Tigers' one-run lead with a pair of singles. The singles put the tying and winning runs on base for South Carolina. Auburn fought its way to a win with a fly ball to right field and a strikeout from Penta.
Auburn looks to grab its third consecutive series win and second consecutive road series win for the first time since 2019 on Saturday. Head coach Mickey Dean is one win away from recording his 200th victory as head coach for the Tigers.
The Tigers will face the Gamecocks in game two of the series in Columbia, S.C. at 1 p.m. CST on Saturday. The game can be streamed on SEC Network+.
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Grace Heim is a sophomore from Enterprise, Alabama majoring in English Literature. She started with The Plainsman in January 2023.