Auburn Softball Team Selected As The No. 2 Seed At Stanford Regional
Softball Regional Previews
May 16, 2004
AUBURN - The Auburn softball team received its invitation to the 2004 NCAA Softball Tournament on Sunday night and found out it would be heading to Palo Alto, Calif., as the No. 2 seed at Region No. 7 hosted by Stanford.
The Tigers (42-16), ranked 12th in the nation, will face off with Colonial Athletic Association champion Hofstra (34-19) in the first round of the eight-team, double-elimination draw. The teams meet at 12:00 p.m. Thursday in game two of the regional.
"We don't know anything about Hofstra," said Auburn head coach Tina Deese. "We're just excited with where we are headed and with our seeding. But I'm sure we'll spend the next couple of days finding out as much as we can about Hofstra."
Region host Stanford is the national No. 7 seed and is ranked eighth in the country. Fresno State, ranked 16th, nationally, is seeded third in the region and Pacific is the No. 4 seed. Auburn and Pacific met earlier in the year with the Tigers earning a come-from-behind 2-1 victory.
"Our name came up pretty late in the broadcast * the seventh site," said Deese. "I wasn't nervous that we wouldn't get in as much as to see where we were going and who else would be in our region.
"I thought before the broadcast that we would go to Stanford. It's a great regional for us. They have great tradition there and so do a number of the other teams in the bracket. But we feel very good about where we are right now and that we can play with anyone."
It is the second time in three years Auburn has earned a regional bid. In 2002, the Tigers went to Florida State as the No. 4 seed in a six-team regional. There they went two-and-out with losses to the host Seminoles and to top-seeded Florida Atlantic.
Auburn is coming off a third-place finish in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, which included a win over LSU, which is the national No. 3 seed in the NCAA bracket. The Tigers have played 34 of their last 37 games against conference foes and are guaranteed not to see another one until the Women's College World Series.
"We don't know much about anybody we'll see this weekend," said senior pitcher Kristen Keyes. "But the good thing about that is that they don't know anything about you either. It's going to be fun to see some new teams after battling it out in the conference for so long."
The regional will also serve as a homecoming for three Auburn players who call the Golden State home. Juniors Sara Dean, Shannon Anderson and Lolani Alvarez will have the opportunity to play in front of the home crowd.
"I'm very excited," said Dean. "Both of my parents will be able to make it and I have a lot of friends that will be able to be there, so I'm lucky. But I would have been happy anywhere. This team worked so hard all year that I'm just ready to get out there and play."