Auburn Softball Preview
Auburn Tigers (7-9, 0-0)
Troy State (6-2, 0-0)
February 18, 2003 • Troy, Ala.
Taking On Troy
Following a disappointing weekend at the Mardi Gras Tournament in Monroe, La., Auburn is hoping to get back on the winning track against Troy State. The Tigers visit Troy for the fourth time in school history where they are 2-1 all time. The Trojans are 6-2 entering today’s game and are led by Tamra Howren, who has started all eight games and is hitting .462 with three home runs and seven RBI. As a team, Troy is hitting .294. Meanwhile, Troy State’s pitching staff has a combined 1.04 ERA, allowing 11 runs in 52 innings.
Below is the Auburn-Troy State series history.
TROY STATE (4-3)
vs. Troy State 3-7 L 1998
vs. Troy State 1-4 L 1998
at Troy State 5-4 W 1999
at Troy State 7-0 W 1999
vs. Troy State 8-0 W 2000
at Troy State 1-3 L 2001
vs. Troy State 4-0 W 2002
Not Getting Into The Swing
The Tigers have struggled at the plate lately. Auburn has been limited to just four hits in five of the last seven games, compiling a 1-4 record in those games with the only win coming against Mercer at the Tiger Invitational. The Tigers have also scored more than four runs in only one of their last 11 games.
No Mardi Gras In Monroe
Auburn traveled to Monroe, La., for the Mardi Gras Tournament over the weekend and finished with a 1-2 record, defeating Southeastern Louisiana, 3-2, on Friday and then losing to Tulsa, 5-0, and Louisiana Lafayette, 9-1, on Sunday. The tournament schedule was rained out on Saturday.
Stumbling Against Samford
After a tournament championship, the Tigers managed only four hits against Samford in a 1-0 loss Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala. Janet Spivey pitched a complete game, allowing only three hits and one run on a solo home run, but it was enough as the Bulldogs held on for the upset.
Tiger Invitational Champions
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 have had a significant impact during on the 2003 season for the Tigers. Both players have performed admirably, especially in the absence of Auburn’s preseason top two starters, Kristen Keyes and Lily DuBois. Diaz has compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.95 ERA, while Spivey has posted a 2-3 record with a 2.89 ERA. Spivey won her first two decisions in playoff games of the Tiger Invitational with complete games, and has lost her last three, however in those three games, the offense has scored a combined two runs. She also started in the win versus Southeastern Louisiana, but came away with a no decision as she left the game with the score tied at two in the sixth inning. Diaz earned the win in that game, but her biggest impact came in the early season. At the USF-Louisville Slugger Invitational, she picked up two wins and allowed just four earned runs in 16.2 innings. 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.
Most Valuable Pitcher, Most Valuable Player
Janet Spivey made her biggest impact this 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. Fellow freshman Ashley Griffin helped her earn the championship win with a game-winning two-run home run in the top of the seventh, upping her average for the tournament to .600, as she took most valuable player honors.
Griffin Leads Off
Freshmen Ashley Griffin’s impact goes well beyond the Tiger Invitational. For the season, Griffin has started 14 games at third, while compiling a team-best .395 batting average to go along with one home run and four RBI. For the last six games, she has moved to the lead-off spot in the lineup and has hit .529 with a 1.00 slugging percentage with home run and two RBI.
Strong Sophomores...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. She is now second on the team in hitting with a .277 batting average while starting all 16 games, and Jones leads the team with nine RBI, despite not receiving as much playing time with the return of Kasey Angulo to the lineup. 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 Chattanooga and hit her second on the next day against Mercer in the Tiger Invitational. She is fourth on the team in batting average, hitting .220.
Keyes Battling Injury
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 is 1-5 with a 4.54 ERA and has been fighting an arm injury. She has not played in Auburn’s last six games. In her last game against Missouri on Feb. 8, she struck out seven of the first 11 batters she faced, but then gave up six runs in two innings.
Kasey Angulo has made five starts this season since returning from an ankle injury. She made her first start against Missouri in the championship game of the Tiger Invitational and then started against Samford and in the three games the Tigers played at the Mardi Gras Tournament. She has started as designated player in all of the games 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 against Missouri. 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 against Troy State and fellow pitcher Kristen Keyes and 1B Kasey Angulo are recovering from an injuries. Angulo has made five starts as designated player since making her return and is 2-for-15 with a double at the plate.
Auburn travels to Macon, Ga., for the Hoiday Inn Invitational. The tournament is hosted by Mercer and also includes Alabama A&M, Birmingham Southern, Lipscomb and Wright State.