Rachael Walters pitches well for Auburn in relief in College World Series opener
By Charles Goldberg
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- An old pro such as Clint Myers isn't going to panic after a loss, not even at the College World Series.
"We're still in this," said the Auburn coach after LSU beat his Tigers 6-1 Thursday. "I liked the way we finished."
Auburn dropped in the losers' bracket, and will meet Tennessee at 11 a.m. Saturday, and now must win four games without a loss to win the national championship. But Auburn had lots of four-game winning streaks on the way to what is now a 54-10 record.
"Whether we have to play two, three or four, whatever it will be, we came here to play and prove that we deserve to be here," Myers said.
"I'm hoping we'll be here to play that fourth one, because that will put us in that championship game."
Tennessee landed in Saturday's game after losing to defending national champion Florida 7-2 in Thursday's first game.
LSU rode home runs from Bianka Bell and Kellsi Kloss in the first three innings on the way to a 5-0 lead. Auburn's only run came on a Jenna Abbott sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. Pitcher Rachael Walters finished up for Auburn, not allowing an earned run over the final 4 1/3 innings.
"I thought we gained some momentum for our game on Saturday," Myers said. "We know who we play. It's not like we haven't seen them. It's going to be a great softball game. I like our chances."
"We wish them luck," said LSU coach Beth Torina.
Auburn went 2-1 against Tennessee in the regular season, then beat the Vols in the SEC Tournament championship game.
Auburn's first-ever World Series game didn't go as planned, but third baseman Kasey Cooper says the Tigers weren't flustered.
"I don't think there were any jitters. It's just another ballgame. Yes, it's the College World Series. But I don't think any of us played tight," she said.
Myers said the Tigers "hit a lot more balls hard, we had a lot more quality at-bats. I thought our pitching was good. We made two mistakes."
Myers has won two College World Series national titles in now his eighth trip. He's sticking with the routine that brought him here so many times.
That's why Friday's off day won't be an off day at all.
"It's just like any other day," he said. "We're going to go do our work and let them experience the great city of Oklahoma City, and do a few things. There's a lot of the World Series they haven't experienced yet, and they need to see the vast entity that this thing really is."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine