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Fans welcome home Auburn from the College World Series
June 1, 2015

Auburn softball returns from the College World Series to salute their fans Monday at Jane B. Moore Field

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Clint Myers likes the idea the nation discovered Auburn softball at the College World Series.

A bunch of texts and emails told him so while Auburn was in Oklahoma City.

"We were reading them to the girls on the bus. So many people in the country from all cover," said the Auburn coach. "When we won the ballgame, the stadium was full and everybody was on their feet cheering as we won. The girls looked around -- and this wasn't a home game -- and everybody was standing up cheering for Auburn. That was very exciting."

It was the beginning and not the end, Myers says, for Auburn softball. He says the Tigers' first trip to the World Series won't be the last, and came home to many believers Monday.

Fans filled the middle section of Jane B. Moore Field and cheered the Tigers when they walked into the stadium after winning two games at the World Series.

"I really encourage you to buy season tickets again because they're going to win the whole thing next year," senior Morgan Estell told the crowd.

The big video board welcomed home the Tigers, as did Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs. The players heard from Myers and then did what his players do, they signed autographs for the fans.

The crowd was ready, like a home game.

"This was unexpected and we're really touched," Myers said, and, turning back to his players, said, "This is a team that has started the legacy."

Myers said all long Auburn would go the World Series. It took him only two years to take them.

"These ladies who stand behind me bought into that, and they are great people, they're great athletes and they were a great softball team," he said.

Auburn lost to defending national champion Florida in extra innings Sunday and flew back to Columbus, Ga., on Monday afternoon on their way back to campus. The buzz on Twitter told them on the bus back to campus that fans were waiting on them.

But so many?

"This is awesome. We had no idea," Myers said. "They said there are a few people who want to congratulate you. And we figured, 'OK'. But it was 'my gosh.' It was phenomenal."

Myers said he wanted softball to be a team for Auburn fans. But there is a sense the Tigers might have picked up some more along the way in a World Series in which Auburn won two games, including an unforgettable 11-10 10-inning victory over UCLA.

"You can't imagine the number of fans we picked up with our brand of softball... and the autographs. We lost the final game to Florida, and we went out and signed autographs. They thought that was unheard of. Not for us. It's our way to say, 'thank you for your support.'

"We want to kind of pay it forward, and we have no problem saying 'thank you.'"

Auburn returns most of its team, losing only three seniors.

"It's been a great ride, it's been a phenomenal year and this is just the first step of it," Myers said. "We told everybody, get used to seeing Auburn in Oklahoma City because this is our plan each and every year, to be playing for a national championship this time of year."

And in Auburn's first year, the Tigers say they were on the doorstop of winning it.

"I tell you what, we came awfully close," Myers said. "To see the girls with tears in their eyes and crying after the game, you could see how much it meant to them.

"For the first time out of the blocks, I couldn't be more proud of them."

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



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