May 15, 2014
AUBURN, Ala. – With just over 24 hours until its first NCAA Regional appearance since 2012, the Auburn trio of junior Branndi Melero, sophomore Emily Carosone and freshman Kasey Cooper continued to rack up the season honors on Thursday as they all made the NFCA All-Southeast Region Team as it was announced earlier today.
Melero and Cooper were both named to the All-Southeast Region First Team, while Carosone was named to the third team.
The all-region announcements mark the first all-region honors under first-year head coach Clint Myers and is Auburn’s first all-region selection since 2005. Auburn has never had more than one player named to the all-region team in a single-season and this year’s honorees are only the 10th, 11th and 12th in Auburn history. The last time the Tigers had someone named to the all-region team was in 2005 when Holly Currie and Paige Jones both made the first team.
One week after being named to her third-straight All-SEC team, Melero adds the all-region honor and is in the midst of one of the best seasons by an Auburn Tiger. Melero is among the leaders in the conference and the nation in a myriad of categories. Going into the NCAA Tournament, Melero leads the conference and is second in the nation in RBI (76).
Hitting .408 through 57 games, the California-native has 52 runs scored, 64 hits and 15 home runs. Her average is good for seventh in the conference and her RBI total set a new Auburn single-season record.
Carosone is making all-region third team for the first time in her career, giving her now three season-honors to go with her two All-SEC selections. The Orlando, Fla., native has been Auburn’s quintessential lead-off batter being one of three Tigers with a .400 batting average or higher. With 58 hits and a .580 on-base percentage, Carosone has been tough to keep off base as she has notched a school-record 32 hit by pitches.
The sophomore has also been one of Auburn’s best defensively at second base, committing only three errors (.985 fp%) and turning 23 double plays.
As for the freshman, Cooper, her honor adds to the growing list of achievements for her first collegiate season. Last week, she was named to the All-SEC Second Team and All-Freshman Team, while this week, her All-Region honor makes her the first Auburn freshman to be named to an all-region team.
Cooper is leading all SEC freshmen in RBI (71) and home runs (17). Those numbers are currently the best in a season by an Auburn freshman and her home run total ties the school’s single-season record.
Cooper has played extremely well at the hot corner of third base, committing no errors in conference play and building up a .974 fielding percentage. She is also a top-10 finalist for the NFCA National Freshman of the Year.
A complete listing of the all-region teams across the nation, can be found on NFCA’s website.
Auburn will continue its 2014 season when it faces North Dakota State in the NCAA Minneapolis Regional on Friday, May 16 at 4 p.m. at Minnesota’s J.S. Cowles Stadium. The regional will run through Sunday, May 18 and is double-elimination format. Along with NDSU and Auburn, Green Bay and Minnesota are also vying for a spot in the NCAA Super Regionals.
All games will be live streamed on GopherSports.com. Brit Bowen will be on the radio call and fans can hear the radio call on WEGL 91.1 or on AuburnTigers.com.
For more information on Auburn softball, visit AuburnTigers.com, follow the team on Twitter @AuburnTigersSB or follow them on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuburnSB.