AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn Softball (3-0) has opened the 2021 season after a streak in southeast Missouri and is facing its first road test of the year when the Tigers travel to Jacksonville, Florida to attend the Osprey / Dolphin Invitational.
The tournament is co-hosted at Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida locations.
“This weekend will help us really see where we are before it becomes really crucial,” said Justus Perry, student athlete. “It will show us where we need to improve and what we need to work on.”
Auburn opens the tournament on Friday with a test against a top 25 opponent as the Tigers take on South Carolina # 19 in non-conference competition. First place is scheduled for 12 noon CT. The Tigers return to the Diamond at 5 p.m. CT to face Jacksonville (2-1). Friday’s Doubleheader Slate will be played at the Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex on JU campus.
Auburn will round out the tournament on Saturday with a rematch against the Gamecocks at 12 p.m. CT at the UNF Softball Complex. Due to a positive COVID test and the subsequent contact tracing as part of the UNF program, the game against the ospreys on Saturday was canceled.
“It’s a tough competition,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “South Carolina are a team that are pretty strong offensively. They have strength and speed throughout their line-up. We played Jacksonville last year. We know they can’t beat themselves.”
Saturday’s contest against the Gamecocks will be streamed via UNF All-Access and free to the public. Due to the COVID logs at the host institutions, the list will not be broadcast on the Auburn Sports Network this weekend.
Spectators at both locations are limited to the players’ pass lists.
Due to the heavy rain expected in Jacksonville on Friday, fans are encouraged to visit AuburnTigers.com and follow Auburn Softball on its social media platforms for further changes to the weekend schedule.
- After kicking off the season with a series about the southeastern state of Missouri, Auburn travels to Jacksonville to attend the Osprey Dolphin Invitational held in Jacksonville and northern Florida. Outside of the two tournament organizers, Auburn will also face SEC opponents South Carolina in an off-conference competition.
- The Tigers made their best start to the season since 2018 with a 3-0 record. The Tigers have won 15 straight games in Mickey Dean’s first season at The Plains.
- Having thrown the 26th no-hitter in program history, Maddie Penta was voted SEC co-freshman of the week after allowing a single well-deserved run in her two opening weekend wins.
- With just one earned run on the opening weekend, Auburn ranks fourth in the country with a earned run average of 0.37. Maddie Penta is tied for national leadership with her 0.00 ERA.
- With a 3v3 performance on the basic paths, newbie outfielder Makayla Packer ranks third in the SEC and sixth in all Division I softball with an average of 1.00 bases stolen per game.
Auburn is returning to Jane B. Moore Field next weekend to host Jacksonville, Murray State and IUPUI in the Tiger Invite. Auburn opens the tournament on Thursday, February 25th against the Dolphins at 5 p.m. CT.