Softball’s SEC woes continue at No. 7 Auburn

The Tigers were unable to recover from big offensive innings by Auburn in their two losses.
Freshman Braxton Burnside connects with the pitch for a hit during the home game facing Butler.

Missouri softball continued to struggle in Southeastern Conference play against SEC foe No. 7 Auburn. The Tigers (24-18, 5-9) dropped the final two games of a three-game series against Auburn (36-7, 10-5) over the weekend.

Mizzou began the series with a 6-1 victory on Friday. In the Tigers’ lone weekend victory, senior pitcher Cheyenne Baxter set the tone, clinching her 12th win of the season and throwing 4.2 innings with one earned run. Senior Kirsten Mack burst the game open early with two solo home runs. She was joined by freshman Braxton Burnside, who homered in the top of the seventh to extend the lead to 6-1.

In Saturday’s game, Mizzou jumped to an early 3-0 lead before Auburn took the lead with a four-run fourth inning. Down 5-3 in the seventh, senior Chloe Rathburn’s RBI single brought the Tigers within one. However, Mizzou failed to complete the comeback.

In the rubber game, the Tigers were blown out. Similar to the previous game on Saturday, the Tigers again fell victim to a big inning. In the fifth, Mizzou gave up three runs to go down 6-0, a deficit that proved too big to overcome.

After the loss, freshman Cayla Kessinger was optimistic about the weekend, despite going 1-2.

“We started well with our win Friday night, but we struggled with consistency the next two days,” Kessinger said. “We showed that we can continue to compete with anyone in the country. That's definitely a positive. It will be good to be home this week, and we'll have a lot of opportunities to get better."

The Tigers return to Columbia for six games in six days next week. Mizzou begins the homestand against SEMO at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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