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Tourney time, and a tourney surprise, for Auburn softball
May 12, 2016

The tarp came out during Game 3 of the SEC Tournament on Thursday, forcing Auburn-Alabama to Friday morning
The tarp came out during Game 3 of the SEC Tournament on Thursday, forcing Auburn-Alabama to Friday morning

By Charles Goldberg

STARKVILLE, Miss. Auburn coach Clint Myers wants to impress in post-season play, and what better way to start that than playing well against your rival in the Southeastern Conference Tournament?

Auburn will play rival Alabama at 11 a.m. Friday on ESPNU, the morning after their Thursday night game was postponed because of bad weather. The Tigers were prepared Thursday night for the season debut yes, season debut of hitter Haley Fagan, who missed the entire regular season after knee surgery last fall.

Myers was less-than-coy about Fagan being in the lineup Friday morning, too.

"I don't see the lineup changing much," Myers said.

Fagan hit .347 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs last season.

Auburn is the No. 4 seed in the SEC Tournament and No. 8 in the NCAA rankings. Alabama is a slightly different place as the No. 5 seed in the SEC Tournament, but No. 3 in the NCAA rankings.

Everybody is playing to impress the NCAA Selection Committee, which will award both regional and Super Regional spots Sunday night. Auburn and Alabama will each likely host regional games next weekend, with the Super Regional following the weekend after that.

The winner of Auburn-Alabama will play a second game Friday at 4 p.m. against No. 1 Florida, which beat Ole Miss 1-0 Thursday. The championship game is Saturday. The NCAA will be watching.

Myers said a win over Alabama would help Auburn's cause for a Super Regional host site.

"You're playing the fourth-ranked team in the country with a great RPI. People will say you're not supposed to win, so I can't see where a win would hurt us," he said. "I try not to speak it all for the committee. They have a tough job. At this point, you're going to have to play the best, anyway.

"It would be nice to be a Top 8 because you'll be at home the whole time. Our fans would just love it. I hope we are. It's great softball. Last year's Super Regional was phenomenal, and I would like to do it for them and so would the team. They really think the world of the fans.

"That's what they were talking about this morning."

Myers shrugged at Thursday's postponement.

"It's one of these things you have no control over so you don't worry about it," he said. "This time of the season, having to play Alabama, it's going to be easy to get the kids focused."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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