Auburn Softball vs Florida State Preview
May 18, 2005
AUBURN, Ala. -- The 18th-ranked Auburn softball team will be making its second straight appearance in an NCAA Regional when the Tigers host Florida State Friday at Jane B. Moore Field.
Auburn is seeded second in the tournament and will take on Florida State for the 15th time in the program's history. The Seminoles finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference and have a 33-26 overall record.
The Tigers (49-16) and Seminoles will open the regional at 5 p.m. CT., followed by top-seeded Baylor (47-12) and No. 4 Florida A&M (37-31) at 7:30 p.m.
"We have a really strong regional if you look at it across the board," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "If you look at the rest of the matchups, I think our regional is one of the toughest with Florida State and Baylor."
It marks the first time Auburn will host a regional. It also marks the third regional appearance for the Tigers and second in as many years.
"We have a great opportunity," senior second baseman Lolani Alvarez said. "It's one thing if you're traveling somewhere and you know you will be facing a big opponent, but as a senior, to be able to have this opportunity to go out and play with the home crowd is a very big deal."
Auburn has an opportunity to make history at the regional. With one victory, the team will have 50 victories, tying the 1995 and 1997 Auburn baseball teams for the most single-season wins by any sport at Auburn.
The Tigers already have set team single-season program records for wins overall (49) and in SEC play (21). The club finished second in the Western Division, trailing only Alabama, which clinched first on the second-to-last day of the regular season.
On an individual level, designated player/pitcher Holly Currie holds the Auburn single-season record with 62 runs batted in. Her 16 home runs are one shy of tying Ashley Moore (2002), for the most in program history. And Currie's 24 victories from the circle this season rank her second in the Auburn record books, narrowly trailing Kristen Keyes, who won 27 last season.
First Baseman Paige Jones, a First-Team All-SEC selection, is second on the Tigers with 13 home runs and 45 RBI, which is the second-most in team history. And Sara Dean, who earned her second straight First-Team selection, has a career-high eight home runs and 43 RBI.
Additionally, Beth DiPietro has teamed with Currie to become the first duo in program history to win 20 or more games in a single season. DiPietro has 22 wins this season, third-most in program history.
Deese is familiar with the Seminoles. She played for Florida State from 1983-84. Her 0.50 career ERA still ranks third in Florida State history.
The only head coach in Auburn's nine-year history, Deese has guided the Tigers to a 3-10-1 all-time record against Florida State. Auburn took one game of a doubleheader, 2-0, in its last game against Florida State, May 3, 2004.
The winners of both games Friday will meet Saturday at 12 p.m. CT., in the first game (game three overall) of the day at Jane B. Moore Field. The losers of the games Friday will meet Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (game four overall) in the second game of the day. Finally, the loser of game three and winner of game four will meet Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. (Game five).
The winner of game five will square off against the winner of game three Sunday at 1 p.m. to determine the regional's winner. If the winner of game five also wins game six, the teams will square off again at 3:30 p.m.
The Auburn Athletics Department will host two sporting events this weekend as the Auburn baseball team hosts Alabama for a three-game series, while the Auburn softball team hosts an NCAA Regional at Jane B. Moore Field. Both events begin Friday and conclude Sunday.
Due to the fact that Auburn University students are on semester break, the Auburn Athletics Ticket Office will make available, to those attending the NCAA Softball Regional, an allotment of unclaimed AU student baseball tickets for the Friday and Saturday games of the series.
Fans purchasing a single-game ticket to Auburn's first round NCAA softball regional match-up with Florida State on Friday will be eligible to purchase a $2 ticket for Friday night's baseball game between the Tigers and the Tide. First pitch for the NCAA softball regional game is 5 p.m., while baseball begins at 7 p.m.
Fans purchasing a single-game ticket for Auburn's second round game versus either Baylor or Florida A&M on Saturday, at either noon (winners' bracket) or 2:30 p.m. (losers' bracket), will be able to purchase a $2 ticket for Saturday's baseball game which begins at 4 p.m.
The ticket package will be available for purchase at the Jane B. Moore Softball Complex beginning Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. The package will not be available for purchase at the Plainsman Park Box Office or at the Coliseum Box Office.
Single-game NCAA Softball Regional tickets are $7 for a reserved seat and $5 for a general admission ticket, while student general admission tickets are $3. Single-game tickets for the Alabama baseball series are also available for $10 per game.
Fans attending this weekend's NCAA Softball Regional and/or the Auburn baseball series versus Alabama on the Auburn University campus are being advised that the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum East Parking Lot, located between Beard-Eaves Coliseum and Plainsman Park, will be closed from May 16 until August 1 due to construction.