Auburn will be looking for more reasons to cheer in the College World Series on Saturday
By Charles Goldberg
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Veteran Auburn coach Clint Myers and veteran Tennessee coach Ralph Weekly will face each other in a softball College World Series game Saturday... and Myers says it's a good thing it's an early start.
"It's just two old guys who'll be playing the game of softball," Myers said with a smile. "The last time we played it was way past both our bedtimes."
Myers and Weekly have been around college sports so long that they've served as a head coach in a combined 3,388 games.
Let that roll around in your noggin: Three-thousand-three-hundred-and-eighty-eight games.
They faced each four times this season with Auburn winning three of them, including the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game.
The Tigers and Vols will play in another big at 11 a.m. Saturday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in a loser-leaves-town elimination game. The winner will stay around to play at 6 p.m. Saturday against the loser of the Michigan-UCLA game. Auburn would have to win four straight to win the national title.
"I like our chances, and I think we're moving in the right direction," Myers said after Auburn's 6-1 loss to LSU on Thursday.
The fact sheet says Auburn is 54-10 and Tennessee is 47-16 after losing to Florida 7-2 Thursday.
Here's the NCAA bracket
Players from both teams say the bright lights of the World Series did not affect them.
"We prepare for stuff like this," said Auburn' Branndi Melero. "Coach has worked us really hard, and they prepared us and told us that crowd's going to be big, make sure you communicate and everything. So I felt we were prepared coming out here.
"We're going to come back and continue to win."
The SEC has five teams on the eight-team bracket. At least of them is leaving Saturday: The loser of the Auburn-Tennessee game. Alabama, which also lost Thursday, could be eliminated if it losses to Oregon.
Melero says Auburn is ready for everybody, including all those SEC teams.
"You always feel comfortable playing against teams you've seen multiple times," Melero said. "You're facing the same pitchers that you face in the SEC Tournament. And I feel like an SEC team playing an SEC team is kind of an upper hand for us. So to us it's just like another game. Like we've done it before, and if we have to continue doing it, then that's what we have to do."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine