AUBURN, Ala. – The 16th-ranked Tennessee softball won its fourth consecutive SEC series Saturday, as it defeated Auburn, 3-2, at Jane B. Moore Stadium.
The Lady Vols (37-8, 10-7 SEC) dug deep in the late innings to preserve the victory as Auburn (26-18, 6-14 SEC) fought back with runs in the fifth and seventh as it looked to avoid the series loss.
With Tennessee leading 3-0 in the fifth inning, Auburn’s Maddison Koepke hit a leadoff solo home run over the left field wall to put the Tigers on the board. The hit was Auburn’s second of the day, but UT was able to shut the door and limit the damage as it got the next three batters out.
Auburn threatened again in the bottom of the seventh as Lindsey Garcia reached on an error to short with one away in the inning. Following a strikeout, Justus Perry was hit-by-a-pitch to put two runners on. A single from Maia Engelkes in the next at-bat scored Garcia and advanced the game-tying run to third as Engelkes moved up to second on a throwing error.
Ashley Rogers, who came on in relief in the sixth inning, locked in on Auburn’s Aspyn Godwin and struck out the catcher to clinch the win, the save and the series for the Lady Vols.
The save is Rogers’ third of the season.
UT got the scoring started in the second with a pair of runs courtesy an Auburn fielding error and a sacrifice fly from Kiki Milloy.
Senior Chelsea Seggern led off the second with a double to right field and advanced to third on a single by Ally Shipman. Shipman then stole second as the Tigers skipped a ball into the outfield trying to throw her out.
That allowed Seggern to come home for the game’s first run as Shipman quickly jumped to her feet and raced to third.
In the next at-bat, Milloy hit a sac fly to right that got deep enough for Shipman to tag and score on.
In the third, Amanda Ayala singled to right and moved up to second on a bunt single by Cailin Hannon. Ashley Morgan then laced a single up the middle of the infield that scored Ayala, giving Tennessee its third run of the game.
Callie Turner took the ball for UT Saturday and tossed five innings, striking out two and allowing just one run on two hits. The lefty earned her 10th win of the season and third victory in SEC play. The win is her third-straight conference victory – pitching the Lady Vols to wins over South Carolina, Georgia and now Auburn.
Maddie Penta started in the circle for Auburn and threw 2.1 innings, surrendering three runs on five hits. Lexie Handley tossed 4.2 innings in relief, striking out six and allowing just a pair of hits. Penta suffered the loss and falls to 8-8 on the year.
Tennessee looks for the series sweep on Sunday as it faces Auburn in game three. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. ET and all the action can be streamed on SEC Network+.