By Tori Sisson
AUBURN, Ala. - After a week of productive practice, the Auburn softball team expressed confidence before Friday’s NCAA Regional opener against East Tennessee State at 3:30 p.m.
“We’re pretty excited,” said senior Kasey Cooper. “I think all of us are ready for it to be postseason so we just want to get that first game underway, and get it rolling.”
While the Tigers know they are good enough to win, they are also aware they cannot overlook any opponent.
“Every game counts at this point. We’re going to play good teams from here on out so you can’t take any team lightly,” said pitcher Kaylee Carlson. “Every team out here has a chance to win so you go out and play your best game every time you step on the field.”
A reporter asked Clint Myers if the two-time national championship coach had a secret for postseason success.
“Yeah, I’m sitting next to it,” said Myers, referring to All-SEC players Cooper and Carlson, seated next to him. “You get yourself good people who believe in the same things that you believe, who are willing to commit, who are willing to go out and have fun and play with passion, and then great things happen.”
Myers’ fourth Auburn team has made great things happen, entering the tournament seeded No. 7 nationally with a 46-10 record.
“Everyone’s doing the best they can, and you just keep fighting,” Cooper said. “You keep grinding at-bats, you keep grinding outs, because we’re going to come through. It’s about being a team and picking each other up, getting the job done, [and] finding a way to win.”
Auburn has had a week to reset after losing to LSU in the SEC Tournament semifinals.
“Right now everyone’s on a clean slate. What you did previous[ly] got you here, but it won’t get you to the end,” Cooper said. “If you don’t show up you’re not going to win. This is what we’re living for. All the blood, sweat, and tears, it pays off for this moment.”
If Auburn wins its Regional, the Tigers would host a Super Regional next weekend, possibly against Oklahoma in a rematch of last year’s Women’s College World Series championship series.
“We’re ready,” Cooper said. “We’re ready for battle.”