AUBURN, Ala. – Coming off a series sweep of Southeast Missouri State to open the 2021 season, Auburn softball (3-0) faces its first road test of the year as the Tigers travel to Jacksonville, Fla., to compete in the Osprey/Dolphin Invitational.
The tournament is jointly hosted on the campuses of Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida.
“This weekend will help us really see where we’re at before it becomes really crucial,” said graduate student-athlete Justus Perry. “It’ll show us where we need to improve and what we need to work on.”
Auburn opens the tournament on Friday with a test against a Top 25 foe as the Tigers face No. 19 South Carolina in non-conference competition. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT. The Tigers return to the diamond at 5 p.m. CT to face Jacksonville (2-1). Friday’s doubleheader slate will be played at the Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex on the campus of JU.
Auburn rounds out the tournament on Saturday with a rematch against the Gamecocks at 12 p.m. CT at the UNF Softball Complex. Due to a positive COVID test and subsequent contact tracing within the UNF program, Saturday’s game against the Ospreys has been canceled.
“It’s stout competition,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “South Carolina is a team that is pretty strong offensively. They have power and speed throughout their lineup. We played Jacksonville last year. We know that they don’t beat themselves.”
Saturday’s contest against the Gamecocks will be streamed through UNF All-Access and will be free to the public. Due to COVID protocols at the hosts institutions, this weekend’s slate will not be aired on the Auburn Sports Network.
Spectators at both campuses will be limited to player guest pass lists.
Due to heavy rain expected in Jacksonville on Friday, fans are encouraged to visit AuburnTigers.com and follow Auburn Softball on its social media platforms for any additional changes to the weekend schedule.
- After opening the season with a series sweep over Southeastern Missouri State, Auburn will travel to Jacksonville for the Osprey Dolphin Invitational, hosted on the campuses of Jacksonville and North Florida. Outside the two tournament hosts, Auburn will also face SEC foe South Carolina in non-conference competition.
- With a 3-0 record, the Tigers are off to their best start to a season since 2018. The Tigers won 15 straight games in Mickey Dean’s first season on The Plains.
- After tossing the 26th no-hitter in program history and now allowing a single earned run in her two victory over opening weekend, Maddie Penta was selected the SEC Co-Freshman of the Week.
- Allowing just one earned run over opening weekend, Auburn ranks fourth in the country with a 0.37 earned run average. Maddie Penta is tied for the nation lead with her 0.00 ERA.
- With a 3-for-3 performance on the base paths, freshman outfielder Makayla Packer ranks third in the SEC and sixth in all of Division I softball with a 1.00 stolen bases per game average.
Auburn returns to Jane B. Moore Field next weekend to host Jacksonville, Murray State and IUPUI in the Tiger Invite. Auburn opens the tournament Thursday, Feb. 25 against the Dolphins at 5 p.m. CT.