Auburn Softball Preview: Tigers Travel To Nearby Columbus For NFCA Leadoff Classic
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Feb. 21, 2007

AUBURN - The Auburn softball team makes the short, 35-mile trip to Columbus, Ga., for the 12th annual NFCA Leadoff Classic Friday through Sunday at the South Commons Stadium and Complex.

The Tigers are scheduled to open pool play against North Carolina at 11 a.m. CT in the stadium, and will follow that up with 2005 National Champion Michigan at 1:30 p.m. CT at field two. On Saturday, to finish up pool play, Auburn takes on Southern Illinois at 9:30 a.m. CT and Hofstra at 12 p.m. CT. Both those games will take place at field four.

Bracket play begins Sunday. Game times and field locations will depend on the team's performance through its first four games.

"This is a big tournament featuring a number of teams who will be successful this season," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We are coming off a positive weekend of play back in Auburn and need to continue the momentum."

Two of the Tigers' opponents at the classic, Michigan and Southern Illinois, are ranked in the top 25 in either both or one of the two major polls. The Wolverines are 13th in both the Softball and USA Today/NFCA Top 25 polls, making Michigan the highest ranked team at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. Southern Illinois, meanwhile, is ranked 24th in the NFCA top 25.

Auburn is coming off a 3-2 weekend at the Tiger Invitational, putting the Tigers at 5-7 overall this season. Auburn defeated Tennessee Tech, Tulsa and UAB at the tournament, but fell in one-run contests to Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.

Tennessee Tech and Virginia Tech will both play in the NFCA Leadoff Classic. Other teams scheduled to appear in Columbus include Southeastern Conference foes Florida, Georgia and Mississippi State as well as DePaul and Nebraska, two clubs the Tigers faced earlier this season in Honolulu.

Live stats for the Tigers' games will be available at Check the Web site for a full recap, box score and updated season statistics at the conclusion of each day.