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It's time: Auburn ready for softball's College World Series
Auburn checked out the dugout Wednesday for the College World Series
June 1, 2016

By Charles Goldberg

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. Clint Myers isn't too worried about a softball game dragging on forever.

He always has time for a victory.

Four hours and a bunch of minutes to beat UCLA? It was no problem for the Auburn coach when the Tigers eliminated the Bruins 11-10 in 10 innings at softball's College World Series last season. He's hoping Auburn will make time to beat UCLA again Thursday when another World Series begins for the Tigers at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN.

The double-elimination tournament features the eight surviving teams of a regular-season and two rounds of NCAA regional play. It will also feature six All-Americans, three on each team as named by the National Fastball Coaches Association on Wednesday. Auburn's representatives are Kasey Cooper, Emily Carosone and Jade Rhodes. UCLA counters with Mysha Sataraka, Delaney Spaulding and Allexis Bennett.

Thursday's game will be like last year. Time won't be a factor.

"When we’re playing," Myers said Wednesday, "there is no sense of time.

"During the game, it's about performance, it's about competition, it's about going out there and taking care of business."

Plus, now, "It's two new teams that are after the same trophy. It’s going to be fun."

It will be for the fans if the teams combine for 21 runs, 28 hits and three lead changes as in last season's game.

"We tend to do better when our backs are against the wall," Auburn catcher Carlee Wallace said after last season's win. "It would be better for Coach and his health if we didn't do that, but that's just the way this team is wired. When there's a call, we answer."

Sort of like this year's team. Auburn hit a bump in the road late in the regular season before winning nine of its last 10 games, including the SEC Tournament, an NCAA regional two weeks ago, and a Super Regional last weekend after dropping the first game.

The start of this World Series features Auburn, 54-10, against 40-14 UCLA at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. It’s also another chance for UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez, who has known, and coached against, Myers on numerous occasions when they were both in the Pac-12.

Inouye-Perez said last season’s 10-inning game ended too soon, at least for her team.

"I didn’t want to stop playing," she said. "I didn't like that we ended it the way that we did, so it's a great opportunity for us to continue to compete."



Myers knows the score.

"Being one of the best eight, that's phenomenal, and it's a shame that there's only going to be one winner because there are eight quality, well-coached teams in this tournament," he said. "The fans are going to get their money's worth as far as seeing great softball."

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

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