Auburn Softball Preview
Auburn Tigers (6-6, 0-0)
Samford (0-0) • February 11, 2003 • 6:00 P.M. CT
Bulldog Field • Birmingham, AL
Sizing Up Samford
Althought Auburn has played 12 games this season, the matchup marks the season opener for the Samford Bulldogs. Last season, Samford finished with a record of 20-32, including a 5-13 mrak in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Auburn took the season series 2-0 last year, winning 4-3 and 9-1 in a doubleheader on Feb. 19, 2002. The Tigers lead the all-time series, 7-5, which is listed below.
at Samford 4-2 W 1997
at Samford 4-3 W 1997
vs. Samford 8-0 W 1998
vs. Samford 4-5 L 1998
vs. Samford 0-1 L 2000
vs. Samford 3-4 L 2000
at Samford 2-1 W 2001
at Samford 9-1 W 2001
vs. Samford 2-3 L 2001
vs. Samford 2-3 L 2001
vs. Samford 4-3 W 2002
vs. Samford 9-1 W 2002
Returning Against Samford
Last season, the Tigers faced Samford twice. Kristen Keyes pitched in both games, earning a win and a save while allowing one run in 6.1 innings Below is listed returning position players statistics from last season’s games:
Facing The Sun
Samford is the third opponent from the Atlantic Sun Confernece for Auburn this season, and to this point, the Tiger are 3-0. Auburn defeated Florida Atlantic, 5-3, in the USF-Louisville Slugger Tournament in Tampa on Jan. 31, and twice defeated Mercer while hosting the Tiger Invitational this weekend, 9-2 and 3-0.
Tiger Invitational Tournament Summary
In dramatic fashion, freshman Ashley Griffin hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to turn a one run deficit into a tournament championship as the Tigers defeated Missouri, 3-2, on Sunday. With the shot, Griffin wrapped up tournament most valuable player honors, concluding a weekend in which she was 9-for-15 with four doubles, the home run and three RBI. Fellow freshman Janet Spivey was named most valuable pitcher following back-to-back complete game wins in just the second and third starts of her career. In the wins, Spivey pitched 14 innings and allowed only two runs, both on a home run, in the semifinal and championship game. Day one of the Tiger Invitational wrapped up with Auburn and Missouri each finishing 2-0, while Mercer and UT-Chattanooga each finished 0-2. In day two, Missouri remained unbeaten and claimed the top seed by defeating Auburn, and later in the day, advanced to the championship game with a win over UT-Chattanooga. Meanwhile, in the first game of the day, Mercer defeated UT-Chattanooga to claim the third seed before losing to Auburn and taking the second spot in the consolation game. With the win over Mercer, Auburn earned the rematch with Missouri in the championship game.
Tiger Invitational Day Three Results
Championship Game: Auburn 3, Missouri 2
Consolation Game: Mercer 2, UT-Chattanooga 1
Tiger Invitational Day Two Results
Game One: Mercer 2, UT-Chattanooga 0
Game Two: Missouri 8, Auburn 3
Game Three: Missouri 4, UT-Chattanooga 0
Game Four: Auburn 3, Mercer 0
Tiger Invitational Day One Results
Game One: Missouri 4, Mercer 2 (8 innings)
Game Two: Missouri 7, UT-Chattanooga 0
Game Three: Auburn 9, Mercer 2
Game Four: Auburn 4, UT-Chattanooga 2
Tiger Invitational Awards
Most Valuable Player: Ashley Griffin, Auburn
Most Valuable Pitcher: Janet Spivey, Auburn
In the four seasons Auburn has hosted the Tiger Invitational, the Tigers have compiled a 19-3 record in the tournament.
After losing game one, 8-0, to the ninth-ranked Florida State Seminoles, Auburn fought back in game two as Anne Norton drove in a run to tie the game at 1-1 in the seventh inning with two outs, then took the lead in the tenth, only to give up two runs in the bottom of the tenth for a 3-2 loss. Jenny Diaz suffered her first loss of the season in game one, while Kristen Keyes pitched a complete game in 10 innings, but came up short in the loss.
USF-Louisville Slugger Tournament
Auburn finished with a record of 2-3 in the USF-Louisville Slugger Tournament. Auburn got an excellent look at national competition in the tournament, including second-ranked Arizona and Florida Atlantic, which finished just outside of the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 preseason poll. The Tigers entered the tournament missing key players in 1B Kasey Angulo and P Lily DuBois due to injury. Angulo was the leading returner from last year in most offensive categories, while DuBois would be considered a number two starter before her injury. The opening game loss to Northwestern was the first in time Auburn lost a season opener in seven years. Below are the Tigers tournament results.
USF-Louisville Slugger Tournament Results
Date Opponent Results
Fri., Jan. 31 vs. Northwestern Wildcats 1-6 L
Fri., Jan. 31 vs. Florida Atlantic Owls 5-3 W
Sat., Feb. 1 vs. Arizona Wildcats 0-6 L
Sat., Feb. 1 vs. South Florida Bulls 4-6 L
Sun., Feb. 2 vs. Sam Houston St. Bearkats 6-5 W (8)
Freshman Pitching Duo
Freshmen Jenny Diaz and Janet Spivey had a significant impact during the USF-Louisville Slugger Invitational. Each player started her first collegiate game, as Diaz picked up two wins and allowed just four earned runs in 16.2 innings, while Spivey gave up two runs in 3.1 innings. Diaz suffered her first loss of the season in game one at Florida State, as she relieved Spivey in the fourth inning. Diaz then earned her third win of the season against Mercer in the Tiger Invitational, allowing two earned runs on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts in the complete game. Spivey made her biggest impact of the season in the Tiger Invitational, pitching a complete game shutout against Mercer to advance Auburn to the championship game and following that with two-run complete game against Missouri to win the title and most valuable pitcher honors.
Freshman Infield Duo
Freshmen Ashley Griffin and Robin Martin have also been significant for Auburn.
Griffin had an outstanding Tiger Invitational, earning most valuable player honors as she hit .600 for the tournament with the game-winning two run home run in the seventh inning of the championship game. She has started all 12 games at third base and has increased her batting average to a team-leading .375. Meanwhile, Martin has started all 12 games at second base compiling a .953 fielding percentage.
Sophomores Sara Dean and Paige Jones each had solid a solid tournament in Tampa. Dean led the Tigers in hitting, going 6-for-15 with a home run and two RBI. Jones led the team by bringing home six runs with a home run on 4-for-15 hitting. At Florida State, Dean was 2-for-8, while Jones was 1-for-6, but had an RBI double in the 10th inning to give the Tigers the lead. Dean once again went deep, hitting a solo home run against UT-Chattanooga in the TIger Invitational. Dewan is now second on the team in hitting with a .297 batting average, while Jones leads the team with nine RBI. Anne Norton can also be added to the list, while filling in for Kasey Angulo during her injury. Norton hit her first career home run against the Mocs on Friday and hit her second on Saturday against Mercer. She is third on the team in batting average, hitting .219.
Turning The Keyes
Junior pitcher Kristen Keyes had an outstanding 2002 season, winning 21 games while posting a 1.78 ERA. However, she has had some difficulty in the early going of 2003. Keyes was 0-4 entering the Tiger Invitational with a 4.78 ERA. After starting 0-3 in the USF Tournament, she rebounded in game two versus Florida State with a complete game of 10 innings, although she did not get the win. Her first win came in the form of a complete game against UT-Chattanooga in the Invitational. She also struck out seven of her first 11 batters against Missouri, but then gave up six runs in two total innings, dropping her record to 1-5.
Kasey Angulo made her first start of the season since returning from an ankle injury against Missouri in the championship game of the Tiger Invitational. She started as designated player instead of her normal position of first base, however she made the most of her opportunity, doubling in the sixth inning to set up Auburn’s first run of the game. Angulo was the Tigers’ leading returner in average, hits, double, home runs, RBI and walks while starting in all 65 games last season.
P Lily DuBois will miss the game at Samford and 1B Kasey Angulo is recovering from an injury. Angulo made her first start of the season against Missouri as designated player in the championship game of the Tiger Invitational.
Auburn travels to Monroe, La., for the Mardi Gras Tournament which is hosted by the University of Louisiana-Monroe and will include Baylor, Southeastern Louisiana, Tulsa, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, and Mercer.