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Feb 26, 2022; Auburn, Al, USA; Team Huddle before the game between Auburn and Delaware State
 at Jane B. Moore Field.  Mandatory Credit: Grayson Belanger/AU Athletics
Feb 26, 2022; Auburn, Al, USA; Team Huddle before the game between Auburn and Delaware State at Jane B. Moore Field. Mandatory Credit: Grayson Belanger/AU Athletics

Auburn Softball wins series with walk-off homer

The No. 19 Auburn Tigers welcomed the South Carolina Gamecocks into Jane B. Moore field for a three-game set that started Saturday and ended tonight. Auburn came into this series after sweeping Texas A&M at home last weekend. South Carolina came into this one after only winning one out of three games against Georgia at home last weekend, and then beating College of Charleston at home Thursday night. 

In the first game, Maddie Penta was pitching for Auburn and Rachel Vaughn was pitching for South Carolina. Both pitchers kept runs off the board for the first three innings, but after the fourth Auburn held a 3-1 lead. The score was tied at four going into the seventh inning. 

South Carolina put across three more in the top of the seventh, but Auburn was able to score three of their own to send the game into extra innings. These seventh inning heroics came from a deep shot to left field from Jessie Blaine that also drove in Riley McNemar and Rose Roach. Three scoreless innings followed, but South Carolina drove in three in the top of the 11th. Auburn was unable to answer back in the bottom of the 11th inning and South Carolina won the game 10-7.

In the second game, KK Dismukes took the mound for Auburn and Karsen Ochs took the mound for South Carolina. Auburn would strike first, as Rose Roach scored off a Nelia Peralta double in the bottom of the first inning. South Carolina answered right back, scoring one in the top of the second. The Gamecocks would tack on one more in the top of the third, but it would be all Auburn from there as the Tigers piled on four runs in the third and six runs in the fourth to pick up the 11-2 run-rule victory after the top of the fifth inning. 

In the third and final game, Maddie Penta pitched for Auburn once again. The Gamecocks went with Bailey Betenbaugh for the series finally. Makayla Packer scored for Auburn in the bottom of the first inning after being forced home due to a walk with the bases loaded. 

All of South Carolina’s offense came in the top of the fourth inning, as Giulia Desiderio hit into a fielder’s choice which scored Katie Prebble, and Aaliyah White hit a two-run triple. Nelia Peralta hit a homerun in the bottom of the fifth, and Denver Bryant hit one in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game for Auburn. This game would also require extra innings, but Nelia Peralta hit her second homerun of the night to walk it off and secure the series win for Auburn. The final score was 4-3.

Jessie Blaine said, “I really just wanted to loosen up and have some fun this weekend,". She added, "We had a great showing our last SEC series, and we wanted to keep that energy going into this weekend.”

"Today we played as a team instead of as nine individuals," head coach Mickey Dean said when talking about Auburn’s dominant performance in game two. 

Auburn will be back in action against Kentucky this weekend up in Lexington. First pitch will be at 5:00 Friday, 12:00 Saturday, and 12:00 Sunday. 

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