Oct. 14, 2013
Auburn's Maris Medina helps set up the fun at softball's Family Fun Day
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — A chance to be on the field or jump in one of those big balloon bouncy things or take a spin in the dizzy bat race or take a swing at a Wiffle ball or get autographs or making sure the prize souvenir bat and prizes were still nearby.
Hey, who was having the most fun here at softball Family Fun Day? Was it the kids on the field or the Auburn softball players helping provide the entertainment?
"We had a great day and everybody had fun. It was the start of something really good," said pitcher Lexi Davis. "They're running around and were really excited to come in and interact with us, and we love seeing all of them."
Coach Clint Myers guessed 500 people attended, parents and their kids alike. Besides the games, it was a chance for fans to select their seats for the upcoming season. But mainly, it was a chance for the softball program to reach out to the community with its new coach.
"We've haven't done a lot of community interaction in the past, so we're real excited about doing this," Davis said. "He's really pushing family, and that's what the Auburn spirit about as well. We're excited about that as well.
"I think we're doing a lot to make softball really popular here. It's going to be a lot different when we get the whole community involved.
"It's a great way for us to interact with the community and to get support started and to get everybody aware of what we're trying to do here."
Myers promises fun and games for fans once the season starts as well. It's the way he did it at Arizona State, where all he did on the field was win two NCAA championships and take the Sun Devils to the College World Series seven times in eight years. But he's involved with the fun during the games as well.
Sunday was a taste of that.
"It's been an awesome day. We had a couple of hundred kids out here, plus their parents," he said. "The plan was to a have a family funfest, and I think it was very successful. I hope the people attended had as much fun as the girls who play softball here at Auburn did. They've come over to me to say this has been awesome.
"This is the stuff we want to do. We're a state school and we want to give back to the community and we want to give back to the kids. We want them to understand this is going to be a great family moment to come out to watch Auburn softball. We're really going to be great role models - kids you can look up to who'll have great work ethic, to be great students."
Auburn is the midst of its fall schedule. The games don't count in the record book — that'll will happen in the spring — but it's been a good introduction to softball, the Clint Myers way.
"We're not to the point where we're going to be, but we're moving in the right direction," Myers said. "They're trying hard and trying to learn. Some of the stuff is new, and it's fairly sophisticated. We've tried to keep it basic, but when we get into the season we'll have to implement more and more. We'll be a thinking ballclub. For the most part, they've never really been that. They've always been told what to do. They'll have to think, they have to know it and they have to communicate it."
And they'll have to know how to have fun.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: