Auburn Softball Preview: Tigers Return Home For SEC Series With South Carolina
AUBURN - The 25th-ranked Auburn softball team returns to the friendly confines of Jane B. Moore Field for a three-game series with South Carolina Saturday and Sunday.
The Tigers, fresh off a 3-3 road trip against Ole Miss and No. 9 Alabama, are 14-2 in Auburn this season and have not lost at home since Feb. 18. They take on the Gamecocks, a club Auburn defeated earlier this season, 6-4, at the Buzz Classic in Marietta, Ga.
"We're looking for a real big series with South Carolina," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We've seen what they can do this season and that was a real big test for us during that tournament. It's the SEC and we expect a real tough series, just like what we had against the Rebels and Crimson Tide."
Auburn is on its first two-game losing streak of the season after going 1-2 against the rival Crimson Tide, but is tied for first in the SEC West with Alabama. Both clubs have a 6-3 record in league play.
South Carolina, meanwhile, has not played since March 15, after a doubleheader scheduled against Coastal Carolina Wednesday cancelled due to inclement weather. The Gamecocks are on a two-game losing streak, falling to then-No. 4 Tennessee in a doubleheader on March 15.
South Carolina is one of two SEC clubs the Tigers have seen outside of conference play. Auburn defeated the Gamecocks, 6-4, on March 6 during bracket play at the Buzz Classic.
Holly Currie went 2-for-3 with a double and Lolani Alvarez hit her second home run of the season in the victory. Beth DiPietro earned her 12th win of the season on the strength of 6 2/3 innings pitched, where she struck out four.
"We held them at bay during that game," Deese said. "That will be a real key for us during the series. We had a big series against them last season, taking all three games in Columbia. We hope to get the same kind of success again."
The series victory for the Tigers over South Carolina - then No. 15 -- last season marked just the second time Auburn had ever accomplished that over a ranked foe and the first time on the road.
The first 250 fans at Saturday's game will receive a pack of Auburn trading cards, the second of four. Also, Sunday's game will have two promotions available to fans. Sunday is 50 cent hot dog day and after the game there will be an Easter egg hunt following the contest.
Saturday's doubleheader begins at 12 p.m. CT, followed by a solo game Sunday which also starts at 12 p.m. Catch all the games live on the Internet at www.auburntigers.com, or in the Auburn area at WANI-AM (1400).