No. 21 Tigers host No. 4 Alabama to open Southeastern Conference play


No. 21 Tigers host No. 4 Alabama to open Southeastern Conference play

AUBURN, Ala. – For the first time in program history, No. 21/22 Auburn softball (15-1) will open Southeastern Conference play against in-state rival No. 4/4 Alabama (19-1) as the Tigers welcome the Tide to Jane B. Moore Field for a three-game series.

The series begins Friday with a 5 p.m. CT first pitch. The Tigers and Tide will return to the diamond on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT for game two of the series. Both contests will be streamed via SEC Network +.

Auburn will make its 2021 television debut on Sunday with the series finale airing on the SEC Network at 2 p.m. CT. Eric Frede and Michele Smith will have the call.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for us,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “Offensively, Alabama reminds us of us with their combination of speed and power. They play very good defense, and they play fundamentally sound.” 

All three games will also be broadcasted on the Auburn Sports Network with Brit Bowen and JJ Jackson on the call.

Auburn extended its win streak to 11 straight games Wednesday night in a road tilt at Troy. Behind a two-hit shutout from freshman slinger Shelby Lowe, the Tigers claimed a 3-0 victory. Lowe held the Trojans hitless through the first five innings to record her second shutout win of her freshman season.

LEADING OFF

·Coming off a midweek road win at Troy, Auburn sets its sights on Southeastern Conference play and its biggest the season with a three-game series against in-state rival No. 4/4 Alabama.

·Auburn enters the weekend series with an 11-game win streak and holds an unblemished 13-0 record at Jane B. Moore Field.

·The Tigers hold a 37-35 overall record in their opening series of SEC play. This weekend marks the first time that Auburn has faced Alabama in its SEC season opener.

·The Tigers enter the weekend with its highest ranking of the season as Auburn checks in at No. 21 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll.

·With her 69 putouts this season, Justus Perry is just the sixth Tiger to reach 1,000 putouts during their Auburn career. Perry is just 75 putouts shy of overtaking Kendall Veach for fifth in program history.

·Tossing two no-hitters over the month of February, Maddie Penta is the first Auburn pitcher to toss multiple no-hitters in the same season since Marcy Harper (2) in 2014.

·Shelby Lowe's scoreless inning streak came to a close after 24.1 consecutive innings. The mark was the eighth longest in program history. She secured Auburn's third SEC Freshman of the Week honor on Monday, setting Auburn's program record for most freshman weekly honors in a single season.

·Auburn's offense holds a .314 two-out average at the plate this season with 30 two-out RBI. Lindsey Garcia leads the with six two-out RBI this season.

·Auburn and Alabama are the only two SEC programs to have two players ranked in the top 10 in strikeouts. The Tiger freshman duo of Shelby Lowe (67) and Maddie Penta (59) rank fifth and seventh, respectively.

ON DECK

Auburn returns to non-conference play next week, welcoming Alabama State to Jane B. Moore Field on Wednesday, March 17. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. CT.