From February 17- February 19 No. 21 Auburn Tiger Softball (9-1) hosted its annual Tiger Invitational inside Jane B. Moore Field, against the Austin Peay Governors, Villanova Wildcats, and the Dayton Flyers. The Tigers dominated the weekend winning by a combined 38 runs and finishing three of the five contests in five innings.
The weekend started against the Governors in a five inning 11-1 win in which the Tigers finished with 13 total hits.
Aspyn Godwin got a three-run homerun to start the weekend in the bottom of the first to make it 3-0 and set the tone for the rest of the weekend.
"This year, my main focus is to stay relaxed and stay confident and be there when my team needs me," Godwin said. "I saw that pitch right where I like it, and I took it for a ride."
The second inning was where the game really popped off as three straight singles and another three-run shot by Lindsey Garcia put the Tigers in run-rule position up 11-0 in the bottom of the second.
Austin Peavy’s Lexi Osowski-Anderson was able to force a fielding error from Auburn which scored one for the Governors, but Auburn was still able to hold on and win in five innings 11-1 to start the weekend.
Pitching for the Tigers was Annabelle Widra who got the win in three innings of work giving up one hit.
"Offensively, we did a good job of moving our runners and getting clutch hits with runners on base," said head coach Mickey Dean. "I also thought all our pitchers did a good job today. They got settled in and started working ahead and so it was smooth sailing."
Much like game one, Auburn’s second game started off in a similar way, this time it was Nelia Peralta who homered to left field in the bottom of the first to put the Tigers up 1-0.
Auburn’s best hitters were Lindesy Garcia and Denver Bryant, who both went 2-3 with Bryant getting two integral RBIs that pushed Auburn to the 8-0 win in five innings.
Getting her fourth win was Maddie Penta who pitched four innings and got nine strikeouts.
Auburn would open up the next day with the Wildcats again, this time Villanova offered more of a challenge going the full seven innings as Auburn still got the win 9-3.
Villanova struck first blood as Tess Cites scored on a fielding error, but Auburn was able to answer back in a big way as Garcia was able to hit a grand slam to make it 4-1 in the bottom of the first.
The Wildcats responded with a Chloe Smith solo homerun, but Auburn was still able to hold onto their lead and add on to it thanks to Icess Tresvik and Millie Roberts who both gave a RBIin their combined three at bats.
Picking up her first win of the season was Shelby Lowe who gave four innings of work only giving up two hits and an earned run, as Auburn picked up the 9-3 wins.
Auburn continued their fast start in a five inning 10-2 win over Dayton as Bri Ellis singled scoring two putting Auburn in control up 2-0 in the bottom of the first.
Ellis would go on to hit a two run homerun to make it 8-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Jessie Blaine would hit a triple scoring Maddie Penta, then scored her self-ending the game in the fifth inning with Auburn winning 10-2.
Maddie Penta got her fifth win coming in for Widra, as she turned in two innings of work and getting three strikeouts.
"We used four of our five pitchers, and everyone got an at-bat," Dean said. "We gained some good experience today. I saw a lot of people doing a lot of good things. I didn't see a lot of people pressing. We had people willing to come into the game and be patient and get the job done, which you don't always see, so that was good."
Auburn would finish the weekend beating Austin Peay 5-1 in a different way from the previous four games.
Instead of Auburn getting its big first-inning start, Auburn would wait until the third inning to get the party going, Icess Tresvik would hit a single homerun that tied it up at one. Bri Ellis singled and scored one, but the real star of the show was Jessie Blaine who hit a three-run inside-the-park home run that put the Tigers on top and in control up 5-1.
"Well, I'm not known for my speed," Blaine said. "I got good barrel on the ball and got out of the box hard. I kept on going. I didn't know if I was going to get all the way around to home, but I sure did my best to get there."
Maddie Penta got her seventh win with four innings of work and five hits, the only run that came in under her watch was on a error so Penta kept her 0.00 ERA.
"It was a rough one," said Penta. "Offense and defense had my back. We were able to win a game where we didn't have our best stuff. I for sure didn't have my best stuff. My teammates were there to pick me up, and Annabelle (Widra) came in to help me get the job done. We all have those days, and it was just one of those today."
"It was a big inning for us," said head coach Dean. "It is kind of a hard game to talk about because it was a weird game. We battled and made some adjustments. They kept us off balance at the plate. Icess (Tresvik) got things started and relieved everyone. We needed a hard-fought game, and that's what we got.
Auburn will be in action this Wednesday, February 22nd against UAB at 5 p.m. CT.