March 8, 2012
Auburn, Ala. -
The No. 20/19 Auburn softball team hosts the War Eagle Classic beginning Friday in the Tigers' final weekend of non-conference play.
Auburn goes into the tournament with a 16-3 overall record. Auburn is ranked 20th in this week's NFCA top 25 and tied for 19th in the ESPN/USA Softball top 25.
The Tigers welcome Louisiana Tech, George Washington, Drexel, Presbyterian and Evansville to Jane B. Moore Field for the three-day War Eagle Classic. Auburn will then hit the road to open Southeastern Conference play next week. Auburn plays No. 24/20 LSU on March 14 in Baton Rouge and No. 7/7 Georgia in Athens March 16-18.
"After two weeks on the road, it is a great feeling to play at home," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "The team is really looking forward to playing in front of our fans this weekend. We have to take care of business this weekend and really compete against these teams. Everyone puts that bulls' eye on your back when playing a ranked team, so we know we will get everyone's best effort against us and we can't take let up one bit."
Auburn, which did not play midweek, is coming off a 2-3 showing at last weekend's Citrus Classic. The Tigers defeated Syracuse and No. 14 UCLA, but lost a pair of one-run, extra-inning games. Auburn lost 1-0 to No. 24 North Carolina in eight innings and 2-1 to Penn State in nine innings. The Tigers also lost 4-0 to No. 16 Michigan.
Senior pitcher Angel Bunner earned both of Auburn's wins at the Citrus Classic, beating Syracuse and UCLA. In two starts, Bunner posted a 0.50 ERA with 10 K's and just one walk in 14.0 innings of work. Bunner gave up just five hits, none for extra bases, and flirted with a perfect game against Syracuse. Bunner retired the first 12 consecutive Syracuse hitters before an error allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base to start the fifth inning. Bunner would give up a single to the next batter, and two hits total for the game, but did not issue a walk. Against No. 14 UCLA, Bunner forced 15 ground ball outs and held the Bruins to one run on three hits as the Tigers cruised to an 11-1 win.
Auburn will play twice Friday, twice Saturday and once Sunday at the War Eagle Classic. The Tigers play Louisiana Tech at 12:30 p.m. Friday, followed by a 3 p.m. game against George Washington. On Saturday, Auburn plays Drexel at 10 a.m. and Evansville at 12:30 p.m. On Sunday, Auburn plays Presbyterian at 2 p.m. in the final game of the tournament.
All Auburn games can be heard locally on WEGL 91.1 FM and online, along with live stats, at www.auburntigers.com. Live updates via Twitter can be found at @AuburntigersSB.