April 28, 2014
AUBURN, Ala. - Freshman infielder Kasey Cooper was named the Southeastern Conference's softball Freshman Of the Week as announced by the league office on Monday.
This honor is Cooper's second freshman of the week honor this season and she is the first Tiger to win the freshman of the week award twice in one year since Anna Thompson won it twice during the 2007 season.
"Kasey is a phenomenal player," Auburn head coach Clint Myers said. "We're very excited about what she's been able to do this year. She is the real deal. She is that good in the classroom. She's a straight-A student. She's meticulous with her work ethic. She wants to be the very best she can be all the time. If anything has improved, it's her defense. She's been a rock at third base. If the ball is hit to third, we know it's going to be an out. She's been that consistent and has made some great plays."
The Dothan, Ala., native, had a big weekend for the Tigers last week helping them to a series sweep of No. 23/23 Texas A&M, the team's first conference series sweep since 2012. The three wins also vaulted Auburn into securing a berth in the 2014 SEC Softball Championship, its first postseason berth since 2012.
Cooper tallied five hits against the Aggies in nine at-bats, including two home runs. On Friday night, the home run ball couldn't have come at a better time as Auburn was down four to Texas A&M with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Auburn had managed to load the bases with Cooper at the plate. The freshman launched her third grand slam of the season to tie the crucial conference game and give the Tigers the momentum to win the game later in the inning.
Cooper's average of .414 is good for second on the team and eighth in the conference. She is also at the top of the SEC charts in runs (63) as both her and teammate Emily Carosone lead the league in the category.
Cooper's RBI total of 68 still trails teammate Branndi Melero (74) in the conference rankings, but is best among all SEC freshman.
Auburn is on the road for its final regular-season series of the year this weekend when it faces South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. for a three-game set starting on Friday at 6 p.m. CST. Saturday's game is slated for 3 p.m. CST, while Sunday will be at noon.