AUBURN – The No. 20 Auburn Tigers opened up their 2024 season by hosting the Tiger Invitational at Jane B. Moore Field.

Auburn went 1-1-1 in its first three games of the weekend; its last two games were both canceled due to weather. The other teams participating in the event were the No. 23 Virginia Tech Hokies, the Belmont Bruins and the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Auburn opened up the season on Friday afternoon with an 8-1 loss to Virginia Tech in eight innings. The game was tied 1-1 heading into extra innings, but the Tigers were not able to overcome a seven-run inning by the Hokies in the top of the eighth.

Senior right-hander Maddie Penta was on the mound for the Tigers for the first seven innings and was replaced in the eighth. She allowed two runs off of six hits and struck eight batters out.

Auburn's one run came from a solo home run by junior first baseman Amelia Lech in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Tigers bounced back on Friday night by beating Belmont 6-1 for its first win of the season.

Auburn took the lead in the bottom of the second inning and never looked back. Four different pitchers contributed to the winning effort for Auburn.

Auburn had a rematch with Virginia Tech on Saturday that ended in a 5-5 tie due to inclement weather.

Auburn took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, but Virginia Tech responded with three runs in the top of the fifth to go up 3-1.

Auburn took the lead back in the bottom of the fifth inning, going up 4-3. Virginia Tech tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth inning, but Auburn put one across in the bottom of that inning to even the score at six. The game was called off before the seventh inning.

Penta pitched the first 4.2 innings and junior right-hander Annabelle Widra pitched the last 1.1.

Auburn was scheduled to take on Illinois on Saturday night and Belmont on Sunday afternoon. The weather, however, had different plans.

The Illinois matchup never began, and the Belmont matchup was called off after three innings.

Auburn travels to Mexico later this week to participate in the Puerto Vallarta College Classic.

The Tigers will take on the UC Davis Aggies and Utah Utes on Thursday, the Wichita State Shockers on Friday and the Clemson Tigers on Saturday. The Auburn Sports Network broadcasts can be heard on WEGL 91.1 FM or streamed anywhere on the Auburn Athletics app.

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