AUBURN, Ala. – The University of Delaware softball team opened its 2018 season on Friday by falling to Georgia State, 2-1, and No. 13 Auburn, 15-0, on the first day of the Tiger Invitational.

In the Blue Hens’ opener, Georgia State (3-4) opened the scoring in the top of the third inning when Skylar Mosel led off the frame with a home run. The Panthers added a run in the fourth when Reagan Moran worked a leadoff walk and scored when Ivie Drake followed with a double to leftcenter.

Anna Steinmetz put Delaware (0-2) on the board in the bottom of the fourth when she belted a solo homer to rightcenter, but the Blue Hens could not push another run across. Giovanna Kolofer advanced to second base with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Georgia State pitcher Emily Soles struck out Chayanna Gallardo and Mattie Nuccio to end the game.

Leanna Gearhart, Alyshia Dellatore and Gallardo recorded singles vs. the Panthers, while Jordan Cargile allowed two runs on five hits in a complete game effort.

Auburn (8-0) then took the early lead with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, before adding 10 in the second. The Tigers capped the scoring on a two-run homer by Kendall Veach in the fourth.

Freshmen Reyna de Jesus, Keiana Smith and Sarah Bessel each singled to account for the Blue Hens’ three hits. Sarah Piening gave up 14 runs, 11 earned, in 3.2 innings during her Delaware debut, while Makayla Martin tossed a five-inning shutout for Auburn.

• Steinmetz increased her UD career leading home run total to 27
• Gearhart moved into a tie for 10th place on the UD career hits list with 164
• Four Blue Hen freshmen started during the opening day of their careers
• Following the loss to Auburn, Delaware is now 0-24 vs. ranked opponents in school history
• The Blue Hens conclude play at the tournament on Saturday against Maryland and Georgia State

Delaware vs. Maryland (Tiger Invitational) – February 17, 2018 (10 a.m. ET)
Delaware vs. Georgia State (Tiger Invitational) – February 17, 2018 (12:30 p.m. ET)
Delaware at EMU Madeira Beach Invitational – February 23-25, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Tritt | | Office: 302-831-8715 | Cell: 302-383-5005