The Auburn Tigers' 2024 softball season has come to an end in the Tallahassee Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

Auburn lost its opening game to the UCF Knights 11-6, beat the Tennessee-Chattanooga Mocs 9-0 in five innings, beat UCF 2-1 in 12 innings, then lost 10-4 against the No. 12 seed Florida State Seminoles.

“I’m very proud of our team and their effort this season,” said Auburn head coach Mickey Dean, following his final game as head coach of the Tigers. “All the work that they put in, especially the work of being good people with high moral character. That’s going to make our program so much better moving forward. I’m proud of them. Florida State played a great game, and I wish them the best of luck. I’m just glad I got to share my last game with this group of players.”

Auburn got on the board first in its opening game but a six-run rally by UCF in the top of the sixth inning was too much for the Tigers to overcome.

Maddie Penta got the start and allowed four runs off eight hits and struck six batters out in 4.1 innings of work.

Rose Roach led the Tigers in RBI with two. KK McCrary and Annabelle Widra each had two hits.

“Both teams battled,” Dean said. “We didn’t do what we wanted to do throughout the whole entire seven innings. We had opportunities to add some runs. Our defense played well. Our pitchers struggled to put their hitters away. We gave up eight two-strike hits. That’s a lot. Putting it in play is one thing, but giving up those doubles, home runs with two strikes is hard. We know our pitchers are better than that.”

It was all about the Tigers in their second game of the weekend. Auburn got started quickly and never let up.

Penta got the start and allowed one base runner and struck five batters out in three innings. McCrary and Makayla Packer each had three RBI.

Auburn avenged its loss to UCF by picking up a 2-1 victory in 12 innings to earn a spot in the final game of the Tallahassee Regional.

Amelia Lech delivered an RBI single to left field and Penta held strong in the circle.

Penta pitched a complete 12 innings, allowed just only run off three hits, and struck 21 batters out.

“Not many coaches get as lucky as I do to coach a player like that,” Dean said about Penta. “I get to work with her every day I come into work. That’s special. Not everyone gets to come to work and coach someone that wants to be the best every single day.”

Auburn held an early lead against Florida State in the final game but a seven-run rally from the Seminoles in the top of the sixth inning was too much for the Tigers to overcome.

Nelia Peralta led Auburn in RBI with two, all seven of Auburn's hits belonged to a different player.

Shelby Lowe got the start for Auburn and allowed six runs off six hits in five innings.

Auburn finishes the season 29-21-1 overall and 9-15 in SEC play.

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