April 1, 2015
Jade Rhodes gets a happy greeting at home after yet another Auburn home run
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Emily Carosone has hit five grand slams and Auburn has hit like elevenity million home runs this season.
That's just how the Auburn softball team rolls, but if you want to know about fun at the ol' ballpark, then check behind the scenes, like how Carosone and the rest of the Tigers have been campaigning for Competition Day, which usually ends with coach Clint Myers being hit with water balloons; and like how the popularity of the program has prompted the school to add seating for the rest of the season.
The additional bleachers will be in place at Jane B. Moore Field when Auburn begins a three-game, three-day series with Tennessee at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Tigers will also play the Vols at 6 p.m. Friday and 3:30 p.m. Saturday. And the additional seating will be there when Alabama visits April 17-19.
No. 7 Auburn is 35-4 overall and 8-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Being 20-0 at home seems like a fun thing, too. No. 11 Tennessee is 26-7 overall and 6-3 in the league.
Carosone, who is hitting a cool .467 with 15 homers, hasn't had a chance at Competition Day since the fall. That was the last one. Myers says another one could be next week, now that the temperatures have turned warmed, meaning being drenched won't be as painful.
"Because of NCAA rules, you can't give them anything, but you can give them the opportunity to douse the coach," Myers said.
It all goes something like this:
"If you win a challenge, you get to throw a water balloon" at somebody on the coaching staff. Who does Carosone pick?
"Oh, I pick Coach every time," she said.
Myers says he already knows his fate. Carosone is taking aim at the head coach.
"Every time she wins, I get nailed. I don't think she's missed me yet."
Myers' coaching secret on water balloons? "We want them to throw it hard because their accuracy is terrible when they try to throw it hard."
This week's SEC games should be fun on their own merit. The league's home run leaders -- Auburn with 75 homers and Tennessee with 60 -- may be slugging it out. The Tigers lead the SEC in nine offensive categories. Auburn is hoping for a nice turnout, encouraged by the good crowd the Tigers had for their last home games, a doubleheader against Kentucky on March 21.
"You should hear the girls talking... they noticed. It means a lot to them," Myers said. "The idea of what they're seeing now with the crowd, and the interaction, and the autographs afterwards, it's been huge. They love it. It makes them want to play more.
"Playing in front of those people, they have such a good time, they're so positive. They're energetic."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: