The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Tigers were too hot to handle, MSU drops series 2-1

The Mississippi State University softball team dropped an intense and competitive series against the Auburn Tigers over the weekend. 

Senior pitcher Annie Willis got the start for MSU in Friday night’s matchup against the Tigers. On the opposing side, Auburn started Maddie Penta, who is currently tied for third in the country for wins this season.

Willis pitched a no-hitter through the first three innings, but the Tigers brought that to a halt with a two-run homer to make the score 2-0 Tigers in the top of the fourth. 

Willis bounced back with a strikeout to record her seventh on the day. She said she simply to let the Bulldogs defense back her up after giving up the huge hit.

“My mindset was to just let my defense play behind me. I know all week that we’ve been working at it, and I know that they’re going to have my back,” Willis said. 

The Bulldogs got things going in the bottom of the fifth, as Shea Moreno put MSU on the board with a two-run homer to tie the score at 2-2. 

MSU plated another in the inning after obstruction was called to make the score 3-2 Bulldogs. 

Willis went right back to work in the top of the sixth inning, recording her ninth total strikeout on the day. Kenley Hawk came in for the save and finished the game strong for the Bulldogs, making the final score 3-2 MSU.

During Saturday’s game, MSU struggled at the plate and also had trouble defensively. The Bulldogs made a costly error in the first inning, plating two runs for Auburn. The Tigers ended the first inning up 3-0 over the Bulldogs. 

In the second inning, the Bulldogs got on the board as Jackie McKenna hit a two-run homer to cut the lead down to just one. However, that would not be enough, as Auburn took game two against the Bulldogs by a score of 5-2. 

McKenna discussed the energy headed into the rubber match Sunday.

“To win, really just come out and attack. Playing loose, having fun and attacking more,” McKenna said about the team’s mentality. 

In Sunday’s rubber match, the Bulldogs continued to have trouble at the plate. During the bottom of the first inning, MSU loaded the bases with only one out. However, not a single runner crossed the plate in the inning.

Auburn opened the game wide open in the second inning, scoring five runs to make the score 5-0 Tigers heading into the bottom of the second.

The Bulldogs could not seem to find a rhythm during Sunday’s matchup, as the only runs came from a Paige Cook RBI double. Auburn took the series against the Bulldogs in the rubber match with a final score of 9-2.

Head coach Samantha Ricketts discussed the message to the team after Sunday’s tough loss.

“Making sure we are moving forward, but not forgetting about this weekend or any other weekend in the past because then you are going to make the same mistakes,” Ricketts said after play concluded. “So it’s ‘What can we learn from? What can we clean up? How can we get better after this week and work harder and focus even more moving forward?'” 

The next game for the Bulldogs is set for Wednesday as MSU hosts the University of Southern Mississippi at 6 p.m. That game will be broadcasted on the SEC Network+ app. 

About the Contributor
Dylan Flippo
Dylan Flippo, Former Sports Editor
Dylan Flippo served as the Sports Editor from 2022 to 2023.
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Tigers were too hot to handle, MSU drops series 2-1