Five Tigers selected for SEC postseason honors

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Highlighted by freshman pitcher Shelby Lowe’s selection to the All-Southeastern Conference Second Team, a total of five Auburn softball student-athletes were chosen for postseason accolades as announced by the league office Tuesday morning.

Along with being named to the All-SEC Second Team, Lowe was one of a program-record four Auburn freshmen named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. Lowe was joined by fellow hurler Maddie Penta, infielder Sydney Cox and outfielder Makayla Packer. Maddison Koepke rounded out Auburn’s conference honors as she was tabbed to the SEC All-Newcomer Team.

A candidate for Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year, Lowe has put together one of the best debut seasons by an Auburn freshman. The left-hander from Carrollton, Ala., ranks second in the SEC with a 1.32 earned run average. Lowe has allowed just 30 earned runs through her team-leading 158.2 innings pitched. She enters the postseason with the second lowest ERA in Auburn single-season history.

Lowe leads all SEC true freshmen and ranks third overall in the league with 175 strikeouts, the second most strikeouts by an Auburn freshman in program history. Lowe also ranks 10th in Auburn single-season history for total strikeouts. She has totaled the most strikeouts by an Auburn pitcher since the 2010 season. She has fanned at least 10 batters in seven appearances this season.

Leading the league with a 1.19 walks allowed per seven innings average, Lowe has issued only 27 walks in her 28 appearances. She ranks second in the SEC with a 6.48 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Lowe has 13 wins and one save to her credit and was named SEC Freshman of the Week twice during the regular season.

Not to be outdone in the circle, Penta made a splash during her debut season as she became the first Auburn pitcher since Marcy Harper (2014) to toss multiple no-hitters in the same season. After tossing a no-hitter in her first collegiate start and becoming the first Auburn freshman to toss a no-hitter in a season opener, Penta added a second no-hit performance against IUPUI on Feb. 27 as she struck out 17 – one shy of Auburn’s single-game record. She became the first Auburn pitcher to toss a seven-inning no hitter since 2012 with her effort.

Penta has picked up nine wins and tossed three shutouts for the Tigers. The Chesapeake City, Md., native holds a 2.66 ERA and has struck 104 batters this season. Penta ranks fifth in the conference in strikeouts per seven innings (8.4) and 11th in total strikeouts. Penta currently holds the fifth most strikeouts by an Auburn freshman in program history.

Winning SEC Freshman of the Week a program-record three times this season, Penta joined Lowe in surpassing the century mark for strikeouts, marking the first time in program history that Auburn has two freshmen pitchers with 100+ strikeouts in the same season.

Cox has started every conference game at second base for the Tigers and leads all of Auburn’s true freshmen with 42 total starts this season. The second baseman from Asheville, N.C., ranks fourth on the team with 28 hits, including one home run and a team-leading eight doubles. Cox has driven in nine runs and has scored 12 times.

One of the most patient players at the plate, Cox ranks second on the team with 17 walks en route to a .356 on-base percentage. Defensively, she has recorded 64 putouts and ranks second on the squad with 65 assists.

With power and speed, Packer has been a triple threat and a staple in centerfield for the Tigers. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native has started 35 games and leads the team with a .308 average at the plate. Packer has 28 hits, including two doubles, a triple and three home runs for a .451 slugging clip. She has scored a team-leading 19 runs and has 15 RBI to her credit. Behind her nine walks, she leads the team with a .388 on-base percentage.

Packer is a perfect 15-for-15 in stolen base attempts and ranks eighth in the SEC in total stolen bases. Her 15 steals are the second most by an Auburn freshman in school history and are also ranked tied for eighth in Auburn single-season history. Behind home run robbing grabs and diving plays, Packer has 44 putouts and two assists in the outfield.

Taking over as Auburn’s third baseman during the Missouri series, Koepke has thrived in the role ever since. Starting 22 games for the Tigers, Koepke holds a .261 average and has scored six times. All 12 of her hits have come in SEC play as she leads the team with a .279 average in league action. Koepke has a double, triple and a home run to her credit. All three of her extra-base hits and her five RBI have also all come in conference play. Defensively, the Dacula, Ga., native has 20 putouts and 30 assists. She was named SEC Newcomer of the Week once over the regular season.

The Tigers open the 2021 SEC Tournament Tuesday against 13th-seeded South Carolina. Due to inclement weather expected in Tuscaloosa, first pitch has been moved to 3 p.m. CT. Tuesday’s game will be televised on SEC Network.

All-SEC First Team

IF – Braxton Burnside, Arkansas

IF – Hannah Adams, Florida

IF – Charla Echols, Florida

IF – Taylor Pleasants, LSU

IF – Jenna Laird, Missouri

OF – Elissa Brown, Alabama

OF – Alexis Mack, Alabama

OF – Aliyah Andrews, LSU

OF – Kiki Milloy, Tennessee

P – Montana Fouts, Alabama

P – Mary Haff, Arkansas

P – Ashley Rogers, Tennessee

C – Bailey Hemphill, Alabama

DP/UT – Makinzy Herzog, Texas A&M

All-SEC Second Team

IF – Kaylee Tow, Alabama

IF – Danielle Gibson, Arkansas

IF – Erin Coffel, Kentucky

IF – Mackenzie Boesel, South Carolina

IF – Ashley Morgan, Tennessee

OF – Hannah McEwen, Arkansas

OF – Casidy Chaumont, Missouri

OF – Brooke Wilmes, Missouri

OF – Bre Warren, Texas A&M

P – Autumn Storms, Arkansas

P – Shelby Lowe, Auburn

P – Elizabeth Hightower, Florida

C – Kayla Kowalik, Kentucky

DP/UT – Kendyl Lindaman, Florida

All-SEC Newcomer Team

Lexi Kilfoyl, Alabama

Savannah Woodard, Alabama

Jenna Bloom, Arkansas

Maddison Koepke, Auburn

Julia Cottrill, Florida

Sydney Kuma, Georgia

Rylea Smith, Kentucky

Ciara Briggs, LSU

Taylor Pleasants, LSU

Paige Smith, Ole Miss

Paige Cook, Mississippi State

Emma Nichols, Missouri

Jordan Weber, Missouri

Kiki Milloy, Tennessee

All-SEC Freshman

IF – Sydney Cox, Auburn

IF – Erin Coffel, Kentucky

IF – Blaise Biringer, Ole Miss

IF – Jenna Laird, Missouri

IF – Rylen Wiggins, Texas A&M

OF – Makayla Packer, Auburn

OF – Sydney Chambley, Georgia

OF – Jayda Kearney, Georgia

OF – Bre Warren, Texas A&M

P – Shelby Lowe, Auburn

P – Maddie Penta, Auburn

DP/UT – Aynslie Furbush, Ole Miss

SEC All-Defensive Team

P – Shelbi Sunseri, LSU

P – Emma Nichols, Missouri

C – Autumn Gillespie, Ole Miss

1B – Danielle Gibson, Arkansas

2B – Hannah Adams, Florida

SS – Kenzi Maguire, South Carolina

3B – Charla Echols, Florida

LF – Casidy Chaumont, Missouri

CF – Aliyah Andrews, LSU

RF – KB Sides, Alabama

RF – Chloe Malau’ulu, Mississippi State

Player of the Year: Bailey Hemphill, Alabama

Co-Pitchers of the Year: Montana Fouts, Alabama and Mary Haff, Arkansas

Newcomer of the Year: Taylor Pleasants, LSU

Freshman of the Year: Jenna Laird, Missouri

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Cailin Hannon, Tennessee

Coach of the Year: Courtney Deifel, Arkansas

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