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April 27, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. -
The 19th-ranked Auburn softball team heads to South Carolina for a three-game series against the Gamecocks in the Tigers' final regular season road trip of the season.
The Tigers and Gamecocks will open the series Saturday at 3 p.m. EST., and play two at Beckham Field. The teams will conclude the three-game series with a solo contest Sunday that begins at 1 p.m.
Auburn recently took one game in a three-game series against No. 4 Alabama at Jane B. Moore Field. The teams split a doubleheader Tuesday before the Crimson Tide took the series finale on Wednesday.
"We're going to have to shift our focus to South Carolina," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "The Gamecocks are going to give us a tough series. They've always played tough and I don't expect anything different when we travel to Columbia."
South Carolina leads the all-time series, 16-11, but it is Auburn that has dominated recently. The Tigers have taken eight straight games from the Gamecocks; four in each of the past two seasons. South Carolina's last victory against the Tigers occurred on March 30, 2003.
Auburn has not lost at South Carolina since 2002. The Gamecocks lead in Columbia, 7-3.
The Gamecocks will see two Auburn pitchers vying to win 20 or more games for the second season in a row. Junior Holly Currie went 24-11 last year and is 16-9 this season. Fellow junior Beth DiPietro finished 2005 at 23-7 and has a 15-5 record through Auburn's first 47 games this season.
The duo became the first tandem in team history to win 20 or more games in the same season last year.
Auburn, at 32-15 overall and 13-11 in Southeastern Conference play, has already clinched a berth in the SEC Tournament, scheduled for May 11-13 in Athens, Ga. The Tigers currently sit as the sixth seed, a game behind No. 5 Florida. South Carolina (26-26, 6-17 SEC), meanwhile, has not clinched but would be the eighth seed if the tournament started this weekend.
All three games against the Gamecocks can be heard live on the Internet at www.auburntigers.com or by tuning into WZMG-AM (910). Nathan Ealy will be behind the mic.