Auburn's softball schedule went through a shakeup during the week. Originally scheduled to play Kennesaw State and Charlotte in the War Eagle Battle, cancellations forced the Tigers to replace Charlotte with No. 13 Florida State, a significant upgrade in the strength of schedule department.
On the first day of the invitational, the Tigers struggled mightily, falling 2-0 to Kennesaw State and 10-1 in five innings to the Seminoles. The pair of losses extended Auburn's losing streak to five after being swept last weekend by arch-rival Alabama.
Auburn played Kennesaw State well, matching the Owls in hits and recording zero errors. The only player to break through was Taylor Cates, who smashed two solo home runs in two at-bats to record the only runs of the game. Tigers pitcher Shelby Lowe tossed four strikeouts and surrendered just one walk.
The Tigers hoped to bounce back in the second game of the day against Florida State, a program that recently won a national championship in 2018. Unfortunately, Auburn's near-perfect play on defense vanished as the Tigers recorded three errors and surrendered ten runs in five innings. Auburn finally got on the board with a Kelsey Schmidt home run in the bottom of the fifth inning, but it wasn't enough to prevent the run rule loss. Schmidt was the only Tiger to record a hit against the Seminoles.
Auburn's recent issues have dampened what was a stellar start to the softball season. Now sitting at 16-6 overall after five straight losses, the Tigers have a chance to bounce back and end the weekend on a high note with another doubleheader versus both teams from Saturday.
A sweep of the Sunday slate could be huge for Auburn's confidence. 21 of Auburn's next 22 games after Sunday will be against SEC competition, beginning with a road series at Missouri. Softball supporters will be with them all the way as the Tigers aim for a return to the Women's College World Series.