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It's Makayla Martin's turn in World Series for Auburn
Makayla Martin has impressed in her rookie season at Auburn
June 3, 2016

By Charles Goldberg

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.  All the motivation Makayla Martin needed was to be told she might redshirt her freshman year.

The Auburn pitcher didn't want any part of that.

"I was going in thinking, 'I'm not going to redshirt. I'm going to work my butt off and I'm going to be playing on the field,'" Martin said. "I think that really motivated me. It pushed be harder to become better. All the pitchers pushed me to become better."

Martin has become better. She's sports a 14-3 record, a 1.70 ERA, beat Arizona in the Super Regionals last week and will get the call against Georgia at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Tigers' second game of the College World Series. She's following Kaylee Carlson, another first-year Auburn pitcher, who helped beat UCLA 10-3 in Thursday's World Series opener.

Auburn pitching coach Corey Myers said Friday he wanted to see if Martin could handle the demands of big-time pitching, and told her so before the season began.

"I told Makayla  I was real honest — 'If I don't see you helping this team win, we'll redshirt you.' From about the first week, we sat in the office and said this girl is going to be something special. She's continued to get better. Her last outing was her best outing of the year.

"Hopefully, tomorrow is her new best outing."

Auburn catcher Carlee Wallace said Martin and Carlson have been tough down the stretch.

"They're the difference that's going to take us to three more days. That's our motto," Wallace said. "They've come in and accepted their roles. A lot of pressure comes with being the one with ball each game, but they've done a fantastic job of just taking on that role and kind of putting the team on their backs and saying, 'We can do this.'

"It's a tremendous accomplishment for them this season because neither one of them were really all that use to SEC play, but they came in and dominated."

Martin and Carlson was part of Auburn's three-game sweep of Georgia on April 22-24. But two of the three wins were by a run. 



Both Auburn and Georgia have been hot late in the season. The Tigers have won 10 of their last 11, including the SEC Tournament and six of seven NCAA post-season games. But Georgia has grabbed headlines, too, by beating No. 1 Florida in the Super Regionals last week, and beating Florida State in its World Series opener Thursday.

"Talk about confidence, they've got to be thinking about the same thing," said head coach Clint Myers. "They beat Alabama in the last game of the SEC, they played pretty well in the SEC (Tournament), they played very well in the regional, they went to the Super Regional and knocked the No. 1 team off. They're a good ball club. We've said that all along.

"It's going to be great softball to watch, and you go out and take care of business."

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

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