AUBURN—The Auburn Tigers dropped the first two games of the weekend against the No. 24 Kentucky Wildcats but won the series finale to prevent a sweep.

Kentucky won game one 5-2 and game two 2-1 and Auburn won game three 4-1.

Auburn got on the board first in game one, taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. A three-run home run put Kentucky in front in the top of the fifth inning and the Wildcats did not look back.

Shelby Lowe got the start for Auburn and allowed no runs and only three hits in four innings while striking out six batters. Maddie Penta pitched the final three innings and allowed two runs off of four hits and struck out three batters.

“I didn’t feel like either team really had control of the game,” said Auburn head coach Mickey Dean. “We had our chances to take control but couldn’t capitalize. We just didn’t do enough offensively to put pressure on Kentucky. I don’t think they were worried about us offensively. We just couldn’t close those innings late in the game.”

The second game of the series saw less action at the plate. The Wildcats had a two-run single in the top of the fourth inning. The Tigers' one run came from an Amelia Lech home run to left field.

Penta pitched all seven innings for Auburn and allowed two runs off of two hits and struck nine batters out while walking four.

“It comes down to timely hitting,” Dean said. “The team that gets the timely hits wins the ball game. They got it, and we didn’t.”

Kentucky got out in first in the series finale, but Auburn was able to overcome it. Auburn held a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning when Lech was walked to force in a run and KK McCrary scored on a fielder's choice to extend the lead to 4-1.

Lowe pitched all seven innings and allowed one run off of five hits and struck four batters out.

Auburn is now 24-15-1 on the season and 6-12 in SEC play.

The Tigers return to action this weekend when they take on the Ole Miss Rebels on the road. Game one is Friday at 5 p.m. CT, game two is Saturday at 3 p.m. CT and game three is Sunday at 12 p.m. CT. Games one and three will be televised on SEC Network.

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