AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn softball (19-8, 1-5 SEC) is set to face a ranked opponent for the fourth consecutive week as the Tigers welcome Southeastern Conference standings leader No. 13/11 Arkansas (28-3, 9-0 SEC) for a three-game series at Jane B. Moore Field.
Due to the Easter holiday, the series is scheduled to begin on Thursday with a 5 p.m. CT first pitch on the SEC Network+. Both Friday and Saturday’s contests are scheduled to be nationally broadcasted on the SEC Network. First pitch on Friday is set for 12 p.m. CT. Saturday’s finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.
“Arkansas is really experienced in the circle,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “They’ve been pretty dominating in the circle against their opponents. They are one of the top two teams in the conference as far as slugging percentage. They have over 60 home runs as a team. We are going to have our hands full. We just want to make sure that we are not giving up what I call ‘freebies.’ We want our pitchers to not walk people. We want them to keep the ball in the park and give our defense a chance. At the plate, we want to make sure we put the ball in play.”
Courtney Lyle and Kayla Braud will have the call for both contests airing on the SEC Network. Brit Bowen and former Auburn All-American Kasey Cooper will have the coverage on the SEC Network+ Thursday.
All series will also be heard on the Auburn Sports Network with JJ Jackson [Thursday] and Brit Bowen [Friday-Saturday] splitting the radio call.
The Tigers are coming off a tightly contested series at No. 18/20 Missouri that saw Auburn fall in two one-run games to open the weekend. Auburn bounced back in the finale for a 3-0 victory behind reigning SEC Freshman of the Week Shelby Lowe’s 11-strikeout performance for Auburn’s first victory in SEC play.
- For the fourth consecutive week, Auburn will battle a top 25 opponents as the Tigers welcome No. 13/11 Arkansas to Jane B. Moore Field for a three-game series. The Tigers are looking for their first series win of the 2021 season.
- Shelby Lowe joined her teammate Maddie Penta and Anna Thompson (2007) as the only Auburn pitchers to be named SEC Freshman of the Week multiple times in the season as Lowe earned her second nod of the year on Tuesday.
- Head coach Mickey Dean is just seven wins shy from his 600th career coaching victory. His career record currently stands at 593-229. Earlier this season, he surpassed 100 coaching wins at head coach of the Tigers.
- Alyssa Rivera enters the weekend with 120 career RBI. She is just three shy of jumping into a three-way tie with Carlee Wallace and Tatiana Fernandez for 10th in career history.
- Entering the weekend with 99 total strikeouts, Shelby Lowe is one away from becoming just the fifth Auburn freshman to record 100 strikeouts in a season. The last Tiger to do so was Marcy Harper in 2013.
- Freshman Makayla Packer ranks fifth in SEC with a 0.42 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 earned its third victory over a ranked opponent in a 3-0 shutout victory at No. 18 Missouri. It was Auburn’s first win in Columbia since 2015 and its first shutout victory in conference play since 2019. Shelby Lowe has won two of Auburn’s three games against ranked squads.
- 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 16 shy of overtaking Kendall Veach for fifth in program history.
- Entering the weekend with a 0.74 earned run average, Shelby Lowe currently holds the lowest ERA by an Auburn freshman in program history. The previous low of 1.20 was set during the 2004 by Beth DiPietro.
The Tigers continue SEC play next weekend with its second road trip of the conference season as Auburn treks to College Station, Texas, to take on the Aggies. The series begins on Friday, April 9 at 6 p.m. CT.