The No. 18 Auburn Tigers (36-10) (9-9 SEC) traveled to Starkville Mississippi on the backs of a five game win streak to set up what felt like a big fight feel against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. (29-19) (8-10 SEC) Despite starting slow with a 3-2 loss for the Tigers, but was quickly rectified in games two and three as the Tigers went on to win the series thanks to the big bats of Bri Ellis and Nelia Peralta, and another big weekend from Maddie Penta.
The series was started on April 22nd, and got off to a slow start for the first three innings, but it was eventually Bri Ellis who hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning. Bri Ellis got one of the four hits on the ballgame the other hits included a double from Paige Geraghty and two singles from Nelia Peralta and Lindsey Garcia.
However, Mississippi State would soon put themselves back on top thanks to Shea Moreno hitting a two-run homerun, and Paige Cook hitting a single that scored one, making the score 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth which was also the score when the dust settled at the end of the day.
Maddie Penta pitched all six innings for the Tigers, and got her fifth lost of the season, but not through lack of trying as Maddie Penta only gave up four hits and one earned run, with eight strikeouts on the day.
The loss seemed to light a fire underneath the Tigers for the second game of the series, played on April 23r, as they jumped out to a three-run lead thanks to a Sac-fly from Makayla Packer, and a single from Jessie Blaine that scored two, making it 3-0 after the first inning.
The lead would hold despite the Bulldogs best efforts mainly a two-run home run from Jackie McKenna in the bottom of the second, but the final nail in the coffin would be a double from Carlee McCondichie that scored two in the bottom of the sixth that led to the final score being 5-2.
A big part of the game plan appeared to be pitching as the combination of Shelby Lowe, KK Dismukes, and Maddie Penta each gave up one hit apiece, and combined for six strikeouts on the day. As KK Dismukes got her fifth win of the season, and Maddie Penta got her first save of the season.
The series was set for their rubber match on April 24th, and the Tigers came prepared as they jumped out to another hot start grabbing five runs in the second inning, as the Tigers never looked back, thanks in large part to a fantastic day from Nelia Peralta who went 3-3 with two doubles and a home run, joining her in the home run column is Bri Ellis who got her 18th of the season.
Auburn dominated this game scoring a total of nine runs by the fifth inning, and only letting the Bulldogs get two runs across, when Paige Cook got to second on an error that scored two. This was in large part to a dominating performance from Maddie Penta who pitched all seven innings only allowing seven hits and got a total of 11 strikeouts, giving her 22 wins on the season, as the Tigers won the series and the game on a 9-2 victory.
The Auburn Tigers will go on to play there last midweek game against Alabama State on Wednesday April 27, in Montgomery at 5 p.m. before wrapping up the season with two SEC Series in Georgia, and Tennessee, as the Tigers will look to gain momentum for the SEC Tournament which starts on May 10.