April 18, 2013
Auburn, Ala. -
The Auburn softball team hosts the South Carolina Gamecocks in a three-game series this weekend at Jane B. Moore Field.
The series begins Friday at 6 p.m. The Tigers and Gamecocks will play Saturday at 5 p.m. in a game televised by ESPNU. Sunday's series finale will begin at 1 p.m.
Auburn goes into the series 27-18 overall and 6-12 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina is 23-19 overall and 2-13 in the SEC. The Tigers are 11th overall in the SEC and sixth in the SEC Western Division. Auburn trails ninth-place Arkansas and 10th-place Mississippi State by one and a half games as both teams are 6-9 in the league. The top 10 teams advance to the SEC Tournament May 8-11 in Lexington, Ky.
"It's going to be a great matchup," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We are going to be battling like crazy. We are pretty evenly matched up in the circle and offensively. I think both teams are going to swing the bats well this weekend. This series shapes up to be a barnburner."
South Carolina enters the weekend hitting .316 as a team and having scored 272 runs in 42 games. Samie Garcia leads the Gamecocks with a .420 batting average and is 17-for-17 in stolen bases. Chelsea Hawkins has hit a team-best seven home runs, while Kristen Struett leads South Carolina with 39 RBI.
South Carolina has posted a 3.71 team ERA with Julie Saratt leading the way with a 2.80 ERA in 70.0 innings of work this season. Katie Marks leads the staff with 57 strikeouts.
Auburn has been led offensively by Morgan Estell and Emily Carosone. Estell is tied for the most runs scored (51) in the league this season and has the eight-best on-base percentage (.497) in the conference. Estell has reached base in every SEC game this season and has reached base in 42 of her 46 career conference games.
In SEC games only, Carosone leads the league with a .453 batting average. The freshman has hit .429 with runners in scoring position in league play and is the only freshman to start every game for the Tigers this season.
All games this weekend can be heard in Auburn on WEGL 91.1 FM and online, along with live stats, at www.auburntigers.com.
Saturday's game is Auburn's "Pink Game" featuring a post-game home run derby with the proceeds benefitting the East Alabama Medical Cancer Research Fund. Former Auburn football players Kenny Irons, Ben Tate, Quentin Groves, Zac Etheridge, Mario Fannin, Travis Williams and current Auburn softball assistant coach Jessica Bachkora will compete in the home run derby which will begin immediately following the game.