Tennessee softball improved to 36-8 (9-7 SEC) with a win over Auburn Friday night, taking game one of the weekend series 2-1. The Lady Vols have won three SEC series in a row and look to take number four on Saturday in game two.
Auburn has been on the wrong end of four of its last five contests after producing a five game winning streak that featured a series victory against then No. 12 Kentucky. This unfortunate stretch included a mid-week loss to Chattanooga, 1-0. The Tigers combined for just two runs in that stretch before hosting a comparatively scorching Tennessee team.
Perhaps in Auburn’s favor looking from the outside, today’s matchup was decided at the circle. Ashley Rogers returned to form after throwing a less than ideal game last Sunday against No. 21 Georgia. The Tennessee ace struck out four batters, while allowing just two hits and a single run to score. Friday’s victory was her 21st of the season.
Freshman LHP Shelby Lowe of Auburn had a great outing from the circle as well. Lowe, despite allowing six hits, struck out five batters and kept Auburn in the game until the very end, allowing just two runs in the fourth inning that ultimately solidified Tennessee’s victory.
That fourth inning did not start well for the Lady Vols. Ashley Morgan’s leadoff single was taken away as pinch runner Kaitlin Parsons left first early in a later at-bat, and Ally Shipman popped out to give Tennessee its second out. Despite these misfortunes, Chelsea Seggern made the play of the game, smacking a Lowe pitch to deep right to give the Lady Vols their first lead.
Tennessee added another run when Rylie West brought Kiki Milloy home with a double later in the fourth, working with two outs on the board. Despite stellar pitching throughout the rest of the game, Tennessee’s four hit inning was too much to handle for an Auburn team struggling to put runs on the board.
First pitch of game two between Tennessee and Auburn is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, and will be televised on SEC Network+.