Penta, Koepke earn pair of SEC honors

AUBURN, Ala. – Powering Auburn softball to four wins and its second consecutive Southeastern Conference series win with an upset of No. 12 Kentucky, Maddie Penta and Maddison Koepke earned weekly honors from the conference office on Tuesday.

Penta earned her third SEC Freshman of the Week honor of the season, which sets Auburn’s program record. Penta shared the award with Missouri’s Jenna Laird. Koepke is the first Tiger this season to win the SEC’s Newcomer of the Week award. The award was established for the 2021 season and only sophomores are eligible.  Koepke was also tabbed a co-winner and shared the award with LSU’s Raeleen Gutierrez.

Koepke started all five games at third base for the Tigers, turning in a perfect fielding percentage behind four putouts and three assists. The Dacula, Ga., native went 3-for-6 at the with her first collegiate double, two RBI and a run scored.

With the Tigers leading by just a run in the sixth inning, Koepke picked up her first RBI of the season, driving in a key insurance run with a single up the middle to secure the series-opening win over the ranked Wildcats. Koepke went 2-for-3 at the plate in game two of the series with an RBI double. The Dacula, Ga., native has two multi-hits games this season. Both have come in conference play.

Penta returned to dominance in the circle as she picked up a pair of wins for the Tigers, including her first in conference play. Penta turned in a team-low 1.08 earned run average in her two appearances. She gave up just six hits in her 13.0 innings of work to hold opponents to a .143 average at the plate. She struck out 15 and combined with teammate KK Dismukes for a shutout.

Penta opened the week against Alabama State, holding the Lady Hornets to just two hits in her six innings of work. The Chesapeake City, Md., native struck out 11 for her fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the season. She combined with Dismukes for a 5-0 shutout victory.

Securing Auburn’s first home SEC series win against a ranked opponent since 2018 and its second straight series victory in conference play this season, Penta turned in a complete-game effort in game two against the Wildcats. Penta kept Kentucky off the board until the fifth inning as she closed the game allowing just two runs off fourth hits and a pair of walks. Penta struck out four en route to her first conference win of the season.