Feb. 6, 2014
Auburn had a good view of its comeback against Troy, but rain delayed the comeback (Charles Goldberg photo)
By Charles Goldberg
TROY, Ala. -- Clint Myers had won nine national titles in a wildly successful career in Arizona, but he couldn't beat the rain, sleet and cold in Alabama in his debut as Auburn's softball coach Thursday.
Auburn and Troy played to a 5-5 tie after rain chased the teams off the field in the top of the seventh. The Tigers were otherwise in line to win after rallying from a 5-1 deficit. They had taken a 6-5 lead and had the bases loaded with nobody out when the rains came. By rule, the score reverts to the last complete inning. The Tigers protested, but it was unlikely the outcome would be overturned.
Auburn instead left with designs on winning its 6 p.m. home opener against North Dakota State on Friday in the Plainsman Invite. Auburn will play five games in three days, and Myers will go in buoyed by the Tigers' comeback against Troy, even though it was cut short. Auburn scored four runs in the top of the sixth to tie it.
"They showed some great character in bouncing back," Myers said. "The most impressive thing was there were zero errors. They supported our philosophy of throwing strikes and make them hit the ball, and if we can have 55 more games of error-less games, I'm going to be a happy camper because we're not giving the opponent extra opportunities to beat you."
Starting pitcher Marcy Harper was pulled after allowing 5 runs in 1 1/3 innings. Lexi Davis came in and allowed two hits and no runs in the final 4 2/3.
"She showed great character, great poise and never wavered and made the pitches," Myers said.
Auburn had only two hits, at least before the seventh inning that was wiped out. McKenzie Kilpatrick hit a 3-run homer and Emily Carosone had a hit and an RBI. She also drove in the would-be go-ahead run in the 7th.
Myers was ready to move on.
"We've got to talk about it, but it looks like it's going to be a tie game," he said. "We have five more games this weekend, and it will be fun."
After opening against North Dakota State, the Tigers will play Morehead State and Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday and then play Tennessee Tech and Notre Dame on Sunday.
Thursday, Myers left the dugout and headed to the team bus. But not before glancing skyward.
"It's not raining anymore," he observed.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine