Auburn softball hopes to seize the moment in World Series
May 27, 2015

AuburnNCAAsoftball
Auburn mixed in a little fun the national championship trophy with practice for the College World Series on Wednesday

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Practice and interviews. Interviews and practice. Lightning delay and practice. More interviews. And finally a chance to head back to the team hotel.

Goodness, Auburn was ready.

"Come on, Coach, let's go!" Emily Carosone demanded. "We're not going to the prom!"

Auburn does that Thursday, or at least the Tigers are going to the Big Dance of college softball. The Tigers play LSU at 1:30 p.m. Central on ESPN in its first College World Series appearance. Auburn players got their first taste of ASA Hall of Fame Stadium and its dimensions during Wednesday's practice, though they are the same as the Tigers' Jane B. Moore Field.

Coach Clint Myers made sure of that after he was hired before the 2014 season when he moved the fences around just so.

Auburn will have three recently-named All-Americans on the Hall of Fame Stadium field. Wednesday, Carosone and Kasey Cooper were named first-team All-Americans, and Tiffany Howard was named to the third team, by the National Fastball Coaches Association on Wednesday.

They'll be in an opener that features two of the five SEC teams in the World Series, and two teams that played each other May 1-3. Auburn handed LSU two rare home losses then before losing on the final day of the regular season, the Tigers' only loss in the last 15 games.

"It is not what has happened in the past. It's what's going to happen Thursday," Myers said.

Auburn got over that loss to LSU. The Tigers won the Southeastern Conference Tournament title the next week, won a first-round NCAA Regional and then a Super Regional without a loss, and carrya 54-9 record into the game. LSU is 50-12.

Yes, Florida, last year's champ, Alabama, the champ two years before that, and World Series-regular Tennessee are in the tournament, too, from the SEC. Michigan, UCLA and Oregon are the only non-SEC teams that made it.

"This is a situation where the SEC has really come on, and will be around a long, long time," Myers said.

Seven of these World Series teams have played in the World Series this decade. Auburn can't make such a claim, though Myers can. He won the national championship at Arizona State just four years ago. And he won another one in 2008.

Oklahoma City remembers him. He received hugs when he arrived at the stadium Wednesday. Then, after many photos, some funny, some serious, and interviews with ESPN, Myers ran Auburn through two practices.

He's playing a mental game, too, as Auburn prepares to play in front of the largest crowd in school history.

"We're trying to prepare them the best we can that it is a softball game," Myers said. "It's a different venue, and it's going to be in front of thousands and thousands of fans, but it's just one of those things you've got to go out and play the game, because if you get caught up in the peripheral stuff, it take you of being prepared.

"We're going to play LSU. We just played them. They know us. We know them.

"If we can enjoy the moment, but still be able to focus in the moment, that's what we're going to have to do."

Auburn can hit home runs. The Tigers set five school records for offense, too, including a school-record 98 homers. But who's pitching against LSU? Myers said that's not his department. His pitching coach hasn't told him.

His pitching coach is his son, Corey.

"I'm learning not to even ask," dad said.

But the starter will come from the trio of Lexi Davis, Rachael Walters and Marcy Harper. For Auburn, it's time to dance.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:


 

 

Tigers Unlimited
  • Auctions