April 16, 2014
Lexi Davis makes her pitch, ready for the Auburn-Alabama rivlary (Lauren Barnard photo)
|No. 23 Auburn Softball vs. No. 7 Alabama|
|Matchup||No. 23 Auburn (31-12-1, 6-9 SEC) vs. No. 6 Alabama (37-7, 15-3 SEC) | Game Notes|
|Dates & Times||Wed. April 16, 6:30 p.m. CST|
|Location||Lagoon Park (2,000) | Directions and Seating Chart|
|Tickets||Montgomery Ticket Info|
|Broadcasts||Radio: WEGL 91.1 | AuburnTigers.com|
|Online||Live Audio | Live Stats | Twitter: @AuburnTigersSB|
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- They're not on the SEC schedule. Not like usual. Not really. But the Auburn softball team knows what a Top 25 meeting with Alabama is all about.
"It's kind of like our Iron Bowl," says outfielder Branndi Melero.
Auburn meets Alabama at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lagoon Park in Montgomery in a game that won't count in the SEC standings -- but does count in the rivalry. The SEC didn't pair the two teams for a conference series for the first time since 1998, so Montgomery it will be.
"We're glad we get to play them at least once," said Auburn pitcher Lexi Davis.
Auburn is looking to rebound from one of the most frustrating losing streaks around. The Tigers have lost seven straight, all by a run or two. What better way to end a losing streak?
"We're looking at it as a way to come back from the little bump in the road we've had. We're trying to hype ourselves up so we can get back on track," Davis said.
No. 23 Auburn is 31-12-1 overall and 6-9 in the SEC. No, 6 Alabama 37-7 overall and 15-3 in the conference.
Melero said Auburn will press on.
"We're always going to be really confident no matter who we're playing," Melero said. "Our coaches always tell us it's not about who is on the opposite side of the field, it's about going out and playing your best softball at all times."
Losing, Melero said, happens to every team. "It's about how you overcome it."
First-year Clint Myers shakes his head at the losing streak and Auburn's SEC record. The Tigers have been a hit away, a pitch away, from being much better.
"We've lost nine conference games, in which of eight of them we've lost, we were only beaten once. We've had opportunities," he said.
"I think we're thinking a little too much. We've got to stop thinking and start playing and trust our preparation. Every team we've played knows how good the Auburn program has gotten. They've just been on the fortunate end of us making a freshman mistake or inexperienced mistake that has cost us a couple of runs and ultimately a loss."
Myers, Auburn's first-year coach, knows a little about Alabama. He faced them in the softball World Series when he was at Arizona State. But he's a rookie to the rivalry.
"I can't tell you what it is like because I haven't gone through it. I know it's going to be a big rivalry and the girls are excited. I know there are 3,000 people who are supposed to be there. I'm looking forward to it," he said.
"We're not going to do anything crazy because we've got Georgia two games later. We've got a couple of kids we may let get in there and experience that Auburn-Alabama rivalry so they can say they played in one."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine