By Charles Goldberg
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Tiffany Howard wasn't always making over-the-fence catches at the College World Series, or collecting nine hits and scoring nine runs there, or serving as the leadoff hitter to one of the best offenses around.
She had to first meet coach Clint Myers, who taught her, and a lot of her teammates, how to really play the game. Besides hitting, and catching, Howard said Myers taught confidence.
''I had none of it, basically, my sophomore year,'' Howard said. ''It definitely built on every single year, and just him believing in me made me want to believe in myself even more.''
The Clint Myers' way led Auburn to back-to-back best seasons ever. The Tigers, in Myers' third year, won 57 games this season, a season that ended Wednesday night with a tough 2-1 loss to Oklahoma in softball's College World Series championship game.
The Tigers vowed to return to Oklahoma City and win that final game. Auburn will have a new look by then after losing nine seniors. No problem for Myers, said senior Jade Rhodes.
''He's not going to quit teaching,'' Rhodes said. ''He's going to tell them what he told us, and that's 'we're not slowing down for you, you're going to have to pick it up and you're going to have to go with our pace because we're not slowing down.'''
Howard said Auburn grew to a power learning under Myers, saying he ''just taught the game to me in a whole new way. I really don't think I understood softball quite as well as I thought I did until he came here, and I felt like I was literally learning a whole new game. I think of him so much because he finally got me to my full potential I feel like, and I can't thank him enough for
Howard said Auburn took a ''huge leap.''
''And then we took another huge leap, and now we're here playing for a national title, and I never thought in a million years I would be doing this.
''I'm so proud of us for what we did, and I guarantee you they're going to be back next year to finish it off.''
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine