Jenna Abbott celebrates her home run last weekend
|Auburn Softball: Game No. 53-55 at LSU|
|Matchup||No. 8/8 Auburn (44-8, 16-5 SEC) at No. 5/6 LSU (42-8, 14-7 SEC) | Game Notes|
|Dates and Times||Friday, May 1, 2015 | 6 p.m. - SECN+/WatchESPN | Live Stats|
|Saturday, May 2, 2015 | 6 p.m. - SECN+/WatchESPN | Live Stats|
|Sunday, May 3, 2015 | 2 p.m. - ESPN | Live Stats|
|Location||Tiger Park (2,400) | Baton Rouge, La.|
|Tickets||$5 - Public | $3 - Youth | LSUtix.net|
|Broadcasts||TV: ESPN on Sunday | Radio: None|
|Online||Live Stats| WatchESPN.com | Twitter: @Auburn_Softball|
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn needs a few more wins, and maybe a little luck, to win its first Southeastern Conference softball championship this weekend. Either way, the Tigers say they have no plans to stop there.
Auburn, which visits LSU for a three-game series that starts Friday, is mapping out its plan for the NCAA Tournament.
"It's just rehearsal to what the Super Regionals are going to be like," says outfielder Morgan Estell.
Auburn enters the final weekend of the regular season a half game behind first-place Florida in the SEC standings. The final weekend features two tough series: It'll be RPI No. 3 Auburn at RPI No. 2 LSU; and RPI No. 1 Florida at RPI No. 8 Missouri. Auburn needs to win one more game than Florida this weekend to win the title.
It won't stop there for those four. They'll be in Baton Rouge next week for the SEC Tournament, then will play in the NCAAs. It starts at LSU for Auburn.
"We said from Day One we're going to have an opportunity to determine our own destiny. We believe we can go down there and play well," said Auburn coach Clint Myers.
It'll be a tough assignment. LSU is 31-1 at home, and 43-8 overall and 14-7 in the SEC. Auburn is 44-8 overall and 16-5 in the league. League-leading Florida is 16-4 in the SEC. The top four teams receive a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament.
"We still should be in the Top 4, we still have a chance to win the SEC regular season," Myers said. "There's just a lot of combinations. But for me, the biggest thing for me is to get ourselves ready for the (NCAA) tournament, and that's the last preparation we have for postseason. We should host a regional, and there will be four good teams."
Estell called LSU "a great team. We're a great team. It's going to be a good series."
The series will feature the league's top three hitters in Auburn's Tiffany Howard and Emily Carosone, and LSU's Bianca Bell. Auburn leads the SEC in hitting. LSU is third.
Auburn is looking at it as a steppingstone to the NCAAs.
"This is the time when you lock in and you practice like a World Series team," Estell said. "That's what they preach: If we go to the World Series tomorrow, what kind of practice do you want to have? Do you want to have a bad practice or do you want to have one of the best of the year? It just keeps getting better."
Auburn will stay in Baton Rouge after this weekend series while waiting for the SEC Tournament. Players will have to finish up finals there.
Still, Estell said, playing back-to-back events at LSU is a plus for a team that will know its way around.
"It's a huge benefit for us," Estell said. "I think it's only going to help us in the long run."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine