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Auburn looks to win its first SEC softball series against No. 4 Tennessee

Auburn, Ala—On the final weekend of March, the Auburn Tigers (15-9-1, 2-7) face the No. 4 Tennessee Vols (25-4, 6-0) where the Tigers hope to win their first SEC conference softball series of the season. 

The Tigers are also looking to end their losing streak against the Vols because Auburn has not won a game against them since May 9, 2019, nearly five years ago. However, as the Vols are currently one of the hottest teams in the country, being on a 17-game winning streak, which has lasted a little longer than one month, the Tigers face a challenging task. 

Tennessee’s strength comes from their batting average of .313 led by Kiki Milloy who has a personal batting average of .396, and their ability to score runs with the Vols having 203 runs, 50 of which are home runs. In comparison, opponents have 38 runs, 9 of which are home runs. 

Auburn’s focus for the Tennessee series must be figuring out a way to slow the Vols down when they are at bat, or hitting much better when they are at bat. 

For the Tigers to slow the Vols down when they are at-bat, they need to find their number two pitcher behind Maddie Penta. Penta played the entirety of the second game and 2.2 innings of the third game against Texas A&M, however in the other innings the Tigers played the rest of their pitchers. 

Auburn’s pitching lineup against Texas A&M did not work for the Tigers to get a win, and against Tennessee not having a secure pitching lineup may prove challenging to win the series. 

Opposite the pitching though, Auburn is not one of the best teams when they are at-bat and have struggled all season with scoring runs. Tennessee on the other hand is very good when they are up to bat, so the Tigers face a daunting task when up against the Vol's efficient offense. 

The storyline for this series may just be the pitching as Tennessee’s most-played pitchers have ERAs below 1.05, with Karlyn Pickens having an ERA of 0.54, while Auburn’s most-played pitchers have ERAs of 1.70 and 3.46 respectively. 

The first pitch of this series will take place at 5:00 pm CT on Friday with the games airing on SEC Network+, the first game will be on the SEC Network, and the Auburn Sports Network. 

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