Auburn Softball Looks To Continue Solid Start At Tiger Invite

Feb. 13, 2014

TIGER INVITATIONAL SCHEDULE 

 Auburn Softball - Games 7-11 Tiger Invitational
 Matchups

 Friday: Auburn (4-1-1) vs. Marshall (0-0) - 3 p.m. | Auburn vs. Loyola 5:30 p.m.
 Saturday: Auburn vs. Nebraska-Omaha 3:30 p.m. | Auburn vs. Western Illinois - 5:30  p.m.
 Sunday: Auburn vs. Winthrop - 3 p.m. | Game Notes

 Date & Time  Friday, Feb. 14 - Sunday, Feb. 16 
 Location  Jane B. Moore Field (1,500) | GameDay Info
 Tickets  $20 - Tournament Pass | $7 Tournament Game Reserved | $5 General Admission | Ticket Info
 Broadcasts  TV: AuburnTigers.com | Radio: WEGL 91.1; AuburnTigers.com
 Online  Webcast | Live Audio | Live Stats | Twitter: @AuburnTigersSB
 

AUBURN, Ala. - After taking four games last week in its opening home tournament, the Auburn softball team will be back at Jane B. Moore Field this weekend for the Tiger Invitational. Visiting the Auburn home field will be Marshall, Nebraska-Omaha, Western Illinois, Loyola and Winthrop.

The Tigers' game with Marshall is set for a 3 p.m. start, followed by their matchup with Loyola at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, Auburn will face Nebraska-Omaha with first pitch slated at 3:30 p.m. It will play its second game of the day against Western Illinois at 5:30 p.m. The Orange and Blue will conclude the Tiger Invitational against Winthrop at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Last weekend, the Tigers opened their home slate for 2014 with wins over North Dakota State, ULM, Morehead State and Tennessee Tech. The only blemish coming in a 3-2 decision to Notre Dame in eight innings. Even with the loss to the Irish, Auburn outscored its opponents, 47-17, in the first six games of the season and clubbed 11 home runs, good for tops in the Southeastern Conference.

"They're showing some signs of some very positive character, Auburn head coach Clint Myers said. "If you look throughout the tournament, any time someone scored against us, we answered the call. We won a lot of innings and that's one of the things we say. `Let's win the inning.' If we win more innings than they do, then we have a good chance of coming out on top."

Offensively, Auburn was paced by freshman Kasey Cooper, who leads the team with a .474 average going into Friday's games and nine hits. Her average is good for 12th in the SEC and fourth among conference freshman. Her nine base hits are good for second overall in the conference.

The biggest offensive push has come from juniors McKenzie Kilpatrick and Branndi Melero, who each have nine RBI to lead the Tigers. Kilpatrick currently leads the team with three home runs, while Melero has two. However, the outburst at the plate wasn't what caught Coach Myers' eye, it was his team's defense. Auburn has only totaled two errors through the first six games of competition, nine less than its opposition.

"Our defense was a bright spot over the weekend," Myers said. "I thought we played some very good defense. We had some games where we had no errors and we had a game or two where we had one. When you minimize the opposition's chance to score against you, that says a lot for you going out to perform at a level you expect. We turned some great double plays. Emily Carosone has made some ESPN-type plays and Kesley (Bogaards) is just getting better and better and knowing where that first step is.

In the circle, the Orange and Blue will be sending out sophomores Lexi Davis and Marcy Harper this weekend. Davis was the leader out of the gate last week as she pitched two complete games over 23.2 innings with 18 strikeouts. Davis has totaled a 1.18 ERA and already has two wins to start the season.

Harper has seen marked improvement since her first two starts of the season after going a combined 3.1 innings against Troy and North Dakota State. In her last two appearances, Harper has given up four earned runs and has five strikeouts. Her latest game against Tennessee Tech was her first complete game of the year as she went seven strong, tallying only one walk and three strikeouts.

"I thought Lexi did a phenomenal job against Notre Dame and Marcy threw well in the last game against Tennessee Tech," Myers said. "She's (Harper's) getting a little better and starting to understand her pitches. More than anything else is the conversations that we have with them, because some of the things we're doing is new to them, just like with the hitters and the defense. We're bringing different concepts for them to understand.

The Auburn games can be heard locally on WEGL 91.1 or online at AuburnTigers.com. Live video and live stats will also be available on AuburnTigers.com throughout the weekend for all games.

All home games at Jane B. Moore Field this year will require a purchased ticket unless otherwise specified. All ticket information can be found here on AuburnTigers.com.

For more information on Auburn softball, visit AuburnTigers.com, follow the team on Twitter @AuburnTigersSB or follow them on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuburnSB.