The Auburn softball team poses, one last time at home, after winning Saturday's Super Regional
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn's headed to Oklahoma City for its first softball College World Series, and learned Sunday it will play LSU, leaving home after winning two NCAA regionals over seven days, winning 32 of 35 games at Jane B. Moore Field... and saluting a fan base, coach Clint Myers said, that made a difference.
"I've been coaching for 40 years and there are a couple of people you always have to thank. No. 1, the fans in Auburn have been phenomenal," Myers said. "We went to dinner and I came back here and there were 20 people still sitting out here, they haven't left, having the greatest time. The fans of Auburn, the 1,700 people we had here, I just want to say thanks. You made my life, you've made these girls' lives, phenomenal. The support has been outstanding."
Auburn won its way into the College World Series with a 6-3 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday in front of a packed house in the home park. The Tigers improved to a school-record 54-9 and will open World Series play against LSU at 1:30 p.m. Thursday on ESPN. LSU made to the World Series when it beat Arizona 10-5 on Sunday.
Auburn beat LSU two of three games in Baton Rouge earlier this month.
Auburn's side of the eight-team World Series bracket will feature four SEC teams: Auburn, LSU, Tennessee and Florida. Alabama is on the other side of the bracket, giving the SEC five teams in the World Series. Floirda will open against Tennessee. Alabama will open against Michigan.
The Tigers will practice in Oklahoma City on Monday.
Your NCAA bracket is here
Myers said advancing through the Super Regional is "an opportunity to represent this fine institution at the College World Series. I couldn't be more proud of them."
Myers will be making his eighth trip of Oklahoma City, his first with Auburn after two years as the Tigers' head coach. Through it all, he's talked of taking Auburn to the World Series.
"We're not afraid to talk about things we believe in," he said. "We believed this club had potential with some hard work and a little luck we'd be able to do some great things."
On Saturday, "there wasn't talk about it, there were just great performances.
"It's something we'll continue to believe in: Every year, we're going to Oklahoma City."
What's next? Myers won two World Series at Arizona State. Another would be with Auburn.
"We're starting to understand ourselves. We're playing with great pride. There's a different hero, each and every day, and that's a key thing," he said.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine