Auburn Has the Personnel to Win the SEC Softball Tournament (Updated:5-8-14)
(photo:Anthony Hall, Auburn media)
Shortly after Clint Meyers was hired as the Auburn Softball coach he gave his formula for a winning program: “It’s not so much about how many hits you get, it’s about when you get them. Good defense, good pitching and timely hitting.” For the most part his team has followed that formula on their way to a top 20 ranking and a 38-16-1 record in Meyers first season on The Plains.
And after playing South Carolina in a close series over the weekend as well as sweeping Texas A&M last week, it appears his Tigers are heading into the SEC Tournament today playing some of their best ball of the year.
Although Auburn leads the SEC in fielding percentage, the Tigers have really arrived at this point with a power lineup. The Tigers have knocked out 75 homeruns and lead the SEC in RBIs and runs scored. Twelve batters have a slugging percentage of .400 or better and six of those are above .500.
The Tigers will face off against South Carolina (35-19) in the second game of the Tournament. It will be the fourth meeting of the two teams in the last six days. Auburn will be led by three Tigers that made the All-SEC Team on Tuesday: Junior Branndi Melero, Sophomore Emily Carosone and Freshman Kasey Cooper.
Melero was named to the All-SEC First Team, while Cooper and Carosone made the All-SEC Second Team. In addition, Cooper was also named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Melero has a .420 batting average (.787 slugging percentage) and leads the nation in RBI’s with 75. She has 15 homeruns off of 63 hits and has scored 51 runs.
Carosone has a .410 batting average with 55 hits. The sophomore infielder has a slugging percentage of .642 and a .586 on-base percentage.
Cooper, who has a .779 slugging percentage, leads all SEC freshmen in RBI’s with 70 and home runs with 16. Her home run total is just one homerun shy of tying the school’s single-season record. She is the first Auburn freshman to make both the All-Freshman and All-SEC teams and she is a top-25 finalist for the NFCA National Freshman of the Year.
The 20th ranked Tigers are a shoe-in for an NCAA Tournament and if they win or go deep into the SEC Tournament, may actually have a chance to host a Regional. Meyers is optimistic. He said yesterday, ““The way it breaks down is pretty simple: One game a day for four straight days … We can do that. We’ve got the personnel in order to do it.” – Do it Tigers and start by …
Beating the Gamecocks!
All games will be played at Carolina’s Beckham Field in Columbia. ESPNU will broadcast every game except for the championship which will be broadcast by ESPN2. Fans can also hear the radio broadcast on WEGL 91.1 or on AuburnTigers.com.
Game 1 – Marcy Harper came on in relief of Lexi Davis to shut the door on the Gamecocks for a 7-5 win. Tigers move on to play Bama tomorrow at 5:30 CT.
Game 2 – The Tigers fall in their SEC Tournament quarterfinal 8-4 and will now wait for their NCAA Regional location which can be seen on ESPNU on Sunday at 9p.m.