By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Senior Lexi Davis remembers when she was a freshman in Jane B. Moore Field when the crowd, such as it was, consisted of "about 20 people in the stands."
And they, Davis said, were members of the players' families.
Thursday, Davis and her Auburn softball teammates returned to the now-expanded Jane B. Moore to many more fans who wanted to congratulate and commemorate the Tigers' run to the College World Series national championship game.
Oklahoma beat Auburn 2-1 in the title game Wednesday, but that didn't stop Auburn fans from greeting the team on their return to campus.
"We came up a little short, it wasn't the outcome we wanted, but to see you guys all year still supporting us means the world to the 10 seniors and the rest of the 30 girls on the team," senior Emily Carosone told the crowd.
"To the seniors coming up next, I know and I believe they'll lead us to victory to one more win."
Emily Carosone thanks fans for welcoming the Tigers' World Series softball team back to Auburn on Thursday. Video. pic.twitter.com/scWBK3dQ2o
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) June 10, 2016
Coach Clint Myers said this year's seniors accomplished much as well, with a school-record 58 wins and a trip to the World Series championship game.
"The seniors, bless their hearts, they started a legacy," he said. "Through a lot of hard work, and it was all by them, they have really come together, and become a great team, and established a legacy that every single person in Auburn is proud of. The road to OKC is going to go through Auburn, Alabama from now on because that's the expectation, that's the belief system that each of them have."
The College World Series was played more than 800 miles away in Oklahoma City, so Auburn fans came to Jane B. Moore to watch the championship series on the big video board.
That loyalty grabbed headlines.
A day later, Myers stood in the ballpark where Auburn fans had congregated to see their Tigers.
"I've been to the College World Series nine times, and I was shown one picture yesterday, and it brought tears to my heart, simply because we were there, and there were 2,000 fans standing here and cheering to an empty field. That is simply amazing," Myers said.
Junior Kasey Cooper knew the fans back home were watching the championship series.
"We were fully aware, because even at the World Series they were showing us clips of Jane B. Moore and how many people were there," Cooper said. "We're the only team that gets that. Out of the eight teams there, we had a Tiger Walk every single game. We had support at our field watching the game. That's something that can't be replaced. It shows you what type of community Auburn is and how they support their athletes."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine
College World Series? 'The road to OKC is going to go through Auburn, Alabama from now on,' says Clint Myers. Video pic.twitter.com/8a6nWhi5x0
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) June 9, 2016