Tigers trek to Tuscaloosa for 2021 SEC Tournament

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – With the regular season complete, Auburn softball turns its attention to the first challenge on the road to the Women’s College Words Series as the Tigers open the 2021 Southeastern Conference tournament on Tuesday at Rhoads Stadium.

The 12th-seeded Tigers (27-21, 7-17 SEC) open play on Tuesday against 13th-seeded South Carolina (25-25, 4-20 SEC) in the opening game of the tournament. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT. The winner of Tuesday’s contest will advance to face fifth-seeded LSU on Wednesday.

“We opened the season down in Florida against them,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “We split a pair of one-run games. Having seen each other before, it plays to both teams’ advantage in preparation. We just have to take care of business, play fundamentally strong, be courageous and confident in the batter’s box and play the game one pitch at a time.”

Tuesday’s contest will be televised nationally on the SEC Network with Eric Frede (play by play), Amanda Scarborough (analyst) and Jayln Johnson (sideline reporter) on the call.  Fans can also hear radio coverage on the Auburn Sports Network as Brit Bowen and JJ Jackson will have radio coverage from Tuscaloosa.

“It comes down to our relentless effort,” Dean said. “We enter this week on level playing field. No matter what seed you are or who you end up playing, everyone is even. It’s an equal opportunity. I feel good about our opportunity. When you get to postseason, that is when your pitching and your defense can be real strength. Our team feels good about it.”

Auburn enters the SEC Tournament with a 21-24 (.467) record in tournament games. The Tigers were crowned tournament champions in 2015 and 2016. Auburn is facing South Carolina for the fifth time at the SEC Tournament. The Tigers hold a 3-1 advantage in the previous four meetings.


  • Auburn begins its postseason run in Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the 2021 SEC Tournament. Auburn will face South Carolina on Tuesday, May 11 in the play-in game between the 12th and 13th seeds. The winner will advance to Wednesday to face LSU.
  • The Tigers hold a 21-23 overall record at the SEC Tournament. Auburn enters the tournament as the 12th seed for the first time in program history. Tuesday marks the fifth time that Auburn has faced South Carolina at the SEC Tournament. Auburn is 3-1 in those meetings.
  • A finalist for Schutt Sports/NFCA National Freshman of the Year, Shelby Lowe enters the SEC Tournament with 175 strikeouts, the second most by an Auburn freshman pitcher in program history. Lowe also jumped Jenee Loree for 10th in Auburn single-season history. Lowe’s 175 strikeouts are the most by an Auburn pitcher since 2010.
  • For the first time in program history, Auburn has two freshmen pitchers over the 100-strikeout mark in the same season as Maddie Penta surpassed that mark during the regular-season finale at LSU. Penta’s 104 strikeouts are the fifth most by a freshman in school history.
  • Behind a perfect 15-for-15 mark in stolen base attempts, Makayla Packer ranks eighth in the SEC in total stolen bases. Her 15 steals are the second most by an Auburn freshman in school history. She also enters the SEC Tournament tied for eighth in stolen bases in Auburn single-season history.
  • Alyssa Rivera enters the postseason on the verge of jumping into the top 10 in yet another Auburn offensive career category as she is one base hit from her 205th, which would tie Holly Currie (2004-07) for 10th in school history. Rivera is just the 11th Tiger in program history to record at least 200 hits over their career.
  • With just six strikeouts over 124 at-bats, Tyler King ranks as the third toughest player in the Southeastern Conference to strike out as she averages just one every 20.7 at bats. King ranks second on the squad in total hits with 37.


Following its run at the SEC Tournament, Auburn will await its NCAA postseason fate. The NCAA Softball Selection Show will air on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. CT on Sunday, May 16. The 2021 NCAA Regionals are scheduled for May 21-23.

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