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Auburn Softball Player Profile: Maddie Penta

Auburn softball is set to start in just a matter of days, and the Tigers are looking to make it back in the NCAA Tournament again this year after they made their third-straight regional appearance in 2023.

Entering his seventh year on the Plains, head coach Mickey Dean is looking to coach his team to another new high in wins under his tenure after Auburn was victorious in 43 games last season.

As we prepare for Opening Day, we highlight the career of senior pitcher maddie penta, who has been a leader and staple in Auburn softball. She has been one of the top pitchers in the nation over the course of her career, and had arguably her best performance last season.

Here is a look at Maddie Penta’s career numbers:

ERA: 1.75

Jamie Holt/Auburn Tigers
Jamie Holt/Auburn Tigers

Penta had a career best ERA in 2023 of 1.33, placing her at No. 13 amongst the nation’s pitchers. This stat was down .43 from her 2022 season where she posted a 1.76, and down 1.45 from her 2021 year where she ended at 2.78.

Record: 60-26

Jamie Holt/Auburn Tigers
Jamie Holt/Auburn Tigers

Penta has reached the 20-game win total mark for two straight seasons, winning 27 last season and 24 in 2022. Her win total from last season put her tied with Kristen Keys for the Auburn single-season record. She also posted a record of 12-2 in conference play in 2023.

Strikeouts: 677

Jacob Taylor/AU Athletics
Jacob Taylor/AU Athletics

She once again posted a career best in 2023 with an outstanding 303 strikeouts, ranking her at No. 2 in the nation only behind Montana Fouts of Alabama. The season strikeout mark was up 34 from 2022, and was the second-most in a season at Auburn, once again only behind Kristen Keyes’ 2004 season who posted 320. She’ll look to break that this year.

Innings Pitched: 503.2

Grayson Belanger/Auburn Tigers
Grayson Belanger/Auburn Tigers

Penta has put a heavy workload in throughout her career, especially during the 2023 season. She made 43 of her 106 appearances last year, with 37 of those being starts. She pitched a total of 220.2 innings during the season as well, and is expected to have a similar workload in 2024.

Walks: 152

Grayson Belanger/Auburn Tigers
Grayson Belanger/Auburn Tigers

Penta’s walk total of 152 over her career has not affected her often, as she has been able to work out of those jams. She gave up 55 last year, which was only two more than she allowed in 2022 despite pitching 25.2 more innings. 

Batting Average Against: .178

AP Photo/Sean Rayford
AP Photo/Sean Rayford

Hitters have not found much luck against Penta over the course of her career, managing just a .178 batting average against her. She looks to improve off of last year where she posted the fifth-lowest mark in school history at .160.

Complete Games: 38

Grayson Belanger/AU Athletics
Grayson Belanger/AU Athletics

Going the distance in 38 of her starts throughout her career, Penta has proven that she can save Auburn’s bullpen when called upon. Almost half of those complete games came in 2023 when she posted 17, with 13 of those happening in conference play.

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire