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<p>Maia Engelkes (17) celebrates her first home run of the season against Tennessee Tech.</p>
Maia Engelkes (17) celebrates her first home run of the season against Tennessee Tech.

No. 19 Auburn Softball Finishes Jane B. Moore Memorial Tournament with record of 4-1 Winning Their 20th on the Year

No. 19 Auburn finishes the Jane B Moore Memorial Tournament 4-1, dropping their only game 2-1 against South Alabama Saturday.

“We let the emotions of the first game carry into the second game,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “We weren’t composed.”

Auburn sent Shelby Lowe to the circle while South Alabama had Olivia Lacke toe the rubber. Lowe entered the game with no losses on the season. Lacke came in having notched six wins on the campaign.

This matchup was another pitching duel for the Tigers and Jaguars, as neither team recorded a hit until the fifth inning when Abby Allen sent a double to left field. Ordalys Cordova plated Allen later in the inning for the game's first run. 

The Tigers didn’t record their first hit until the seventh when Jessie Blaine sent an RBI single to center field, to cut the Jaguars' lead to one in the final frame. Blaine’s was the only hit in the game for Auburn.

“We were a little stubborn at the plate in that game and were late to making adjustments. We started making good swings on the ball late in the game, but it was too late,” said Dean.

The game ended on a play at the plate where Icess Tresvik was thrown out, resulting in a game-winning double play for the Jaguars. 

“The play at the plate was a close call, but it is high risk, high reward,” said Dean. 

The loss snapped Auburn’s 16-game winning streak. Both of the Tigers losses this year have been one-run contests.

The Tigers bounced back in their second game Saturday, winning 11-6 against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. The bats heated up for the Tigers in this one with ten hits in the game.

The Golden Eagles put up a run in the first inning on a two-out single to center. The Tigers responded with an RBI single of their own, tying the game up 1-1 through the first. Tennessee Tech put up two more in the top half of the second inning. After that, it was all Tigers.

In the bottom half of the fourth, Auburn put up nine runs on six hits to take the lead 10-3. Maia Engelkes started it off, launching her first home run of the year to left center. The inning was capped off by KK McCrary scoring off a wild pitch.

Freshman pitcher Emmah Rolfe got her first career collegiate start for the Tigers. However, Rolfe’s outing on the mound lasted two innings giving up two earned runs on four hits. Annabelle Widra finished the game for the Tigers the win in five innings of work.

In Sunday’s final matchup against the Bowling Green Eagles, Auburn won 8-0 behind stellar performances in the circle from Maddie Penta and Shelby Lowe.

The two combined for seven innings of shutout pitching only allowing one hit. Penta and Lowe carried a perfect game bid into the fifth inning before giving up a walk, which was then followed by a single. Penta has still yet to allow an earned run through her 57 innings of work this year.

Offensively, the Tigers were jumped started by Bri Ellis’ seventh “Bri Bomb” of the year in the first to put them up by two. 

“Today, I was just focusing on slowing it down and not thinking as much. I was just trying to get on base for my team, and it worked out,” Ellis said.

The Tigers racked up six walks and had just as many hits in the contest. 

“I thought our approach today was way better than the entire weekend,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “We got back to ourselves. We had a conversation this morning about being patient at this plate this morning, and it was nice to see those adjustments being made.”

Auburn was sent home early in the fifth inning after Denver Bryant sent a two-out single through the left side, plating Abbey Smith for the Tigers final run of the day. 

“I didn’t see too many pitches,” Bryant said. “I had an earlier at bat, so I was just trying to adjust. I was thinking about my teammates. I wanted to get them out of here early today.”

The Tigers head to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech this Wednesday, before having their first SEC matchup against the No. 18 Georgia Bulldogs, in Athens.

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