AUBURN, Ala. – Facing a ranked opponent for the third consecutive week, No. 24/25 Auburn softball (18-6) hits the road for the first time in Southeastern Conference play as the Tigers trek to Columbia, Mo., to face No. 18/20 Missouri (22-6) in a three-game series at the Mizzou Softball Stadium.
The series begins on Friday with a 2:30 p.m. CT first pitch on the SEC Network+. The two Tiger squads will tangle at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday to kick off a full day of coverage on the SEC Network. Sunday’s series finale is slated for 12 p.m. CT.
“If you see how Missouri operates, they will throw anywhere from two to four pitchers every game,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “We have to know the pitcher, know the pitcher that coming in for relief and be able to make those adjustments immediately because you may only face that pitcher one time. Offensively, their power numbers are ridiculous, and they also have great speed. It is going to be tough going to Missouri to play. It’s going to be tougher for our pitchers facing that lineup. We’re going to need really good defense and put some runs up.”
Jenny Dalton-Hill and Courtney Lyle will have the call on Saturday. It is just the second time this season that Auburn will be nationally televised. Nate Gatter and Ashley Moore will have the coverage on the SEC Network+ on Friday and Sunday.
All three games will also be remotely broadcasted on the Auburn Sports Network with Brit Bowen.
Rounding out the final nonconference tournament on the schedule, Auburn split four game between Kennesaw State and No. 13 Florida State. After dropping two games to the pair on Saturday, The Tigers bounced back for two come-from-behind wins to sweep Sunday’s doubleheader.
- For the third consecutive week, Auburn will face a top 25 opponent as the Tigers return to SEC conference play with a shown down at No. 18/20 Missouri. Auburn will be looking for its first win in Columbia since 2015.
- Auburn earned a national ranking for the fourth straight week as the Tigers checked in at No. 24 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25. The Tigers were seventh in the first RPI release.
- Head Coach Mickey Dean is just eight wins shy from his 600th career coaching victory. His career record currently stands at 590-222. Earlier this season, he surpassed 100 wins as the Tigers’ head coach.
- With her 109 putouts this season, Justus Perry is just the sixth Tiger to reach 1,000 putouts during their Auburn career. Perry is just 35 shy of overtaking Kendall Veach for fifth in program history.
- Shelby Lowe is staring down her 100th strikeout of the season. Only four Auburn freshman pitchers have ever recorded 100+ strikeouts in a season. The last to do so: Marcy Harper in 2013.
- Freshman Makayla Packer ranks fourth in SEC with a 0.48 stolen bases per game average. She is a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts. Her 11 stolen bases are tied for the fourth most by an Auburn freshman in program history.
- Auburn and Alabama are the only two SEC programs to have two players ranked in the top 10 in total strikeouts. The Tiger freshman duo of Shelby Lowe (82) and Maddie Penta (74) rank fifth and seventh, respectively.
- Alyssa Rivera enters the weekend with 118 career RBI. She is just five shy of jumping into a three-way tie with Carlee Wallace and Tatiana Fernandez for 10th in career 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.
- The freshman duo of Shelby Lowe (1) and Maddie Penta (2) have combined for three SEC Freshman of the Week honors, setting Auburn’s program record for most freshman weekly honors in a single season.
It is a short turnaround for the Tigers as Auburn returns to Jane B. Moore Field to face No. 15 Arkansas in a three-game series, which begins on Thursday, April 1 at 5 p.m. CT.