Auburn Softball Awarded No. 7 National Seed!
Coach Clint Myers has led Auburn to their third consecutive NCAA elite eight national seed. (photo: Julie Bennett/al.com)
Auburn softball came up short in its quest for a third straight SEC Tournament Title on Saturday when they fell to LSU 6–0 in the league semifinals. Nevertheless, tonight the Tigers got the good news they will be hosting an NCAA Regional.
The team found out its postseason fate via the NCAA selection show on ESPN2. The ladies had just finished their season-ending banquet and gathered around the TV to watch the show. Jubilation broke out when news came of their seeding.
Auburn (46–10) was named one of three SEC teams to be awarded an elite eight national seed, claiming the No. 7 spot. Tennessee received the No. 8 seed, and Florida was named No. 1. Five other SEC schools were named regional hosts, and the league set a record when all 13 teams made the field.
Auburn’s selection marks the third consecutive year for the Tigers to be one of the top eight seeds. It’s a big deal to be one of the national seeds because it means those teams can reach the Women’s College World Series without leaving home.
The Auburn Regional will include East Tennessee State (29–24), Notre Dame (33–21) and California (30–22).
Though the SEC Tournament loss to LSU was disappointing, Coach Clint Myers said it was not totally unexpected for a young team to give under the pressure. While ace Kaylee Carlson (26–4) was tabbed with the loss, she only gave up one earned run.
It was an uncharacteristic defense that cost the Tigers a chance at a third league title as much as the lack of offense. LSU scored five unearned runs off of five errors. Freshman second baseman KK Crocker made three of those errors.
“We said at the beginning of the year we are a young team. All this is new for the freshmen,” Myers said. “We just didn’t handle it. We regroup. We go back to the practice field. We do the things we need to do. It’s what we’ve talked about all year.”
Auburn will have four days to regroup and get that practice in before opening against East Tennessee State on Friday at 3:30 p.m.
If the Tigers can win their double-elimination regional, they will face the winner of the Norman Regional in the NCAA Super Regional round, May 25–28. That could potentially mean a rematch of last season’s national championship game with Oklahoma. Win that one, and they will be back in ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City for the Women’s World Series.
However, the Tigers are not looking past this weekend. To get to the next level Myers said, “We have to be a better offensive team. We are getting the pitching. We gave up five unearned runs [Saturday]. That’s not characteristic of us. We have to play Auburn softball.”
“We’re excited,” Myers said. “It’s going to be a good regional. We’ve got to play good softball to have an opportunity to play the other one.”
Auburn Regional game times and complete NCAA Brackets after the jump:
(Auburn Regional – Double Elimination)
Friday, May 19
Game 1: Notre Dame vs. Cal. – 1 p.m., ESPN2
Game 2: Auburn vs. ETSU – 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
Saturday, May 20
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – 1:30 p.m., TV TBD
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 4 p.m., TV TBD
Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 – 6:30 p.m., TV TBD
Sunday, May 21
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 – 1:30 p.m., TV TBD
Game 7: (if necessary) – 4 p.m. , TV TBD