Carosone A Key to Auburn's Successs

Sophomore Emily Carosone is having an impressive season for the Auburn softball Tigers who are looking to advance in the NCAA Tournament.

One of the reasons Auburn will be playing in the Minneapolis NCAA Women's Softball Regional is the performance of the team's second baseman, sophomore Emily Carosone, who has been impressive at the plate and in the field.

With a .408 batting average, a .580 on-base percentage and a .985 fielding percentage, she has been a key reason why the Tigers take a 39-17-1 record into NCAA play as they face North Dakota State at 4 p.m. Friday.

Carosone, who bats from the left side and throws right-handed, has also shown power and toughness. She leads the SEC in being hit by pitches (32 times) and has pounded nine home runs.

"Emily has really done a great job," says Clint Myers, a veteran and highly-success coach who made the move from Arizona State to Auburn for the 2014 season.

"Her on-base percentage has been phenomenal," Myers points out. "She has got this crazy knack for getting hit. She set a (Auburn) record for number of hit by pitches. She epitomizes the best in a leadoff hitter because she gets on and she scores.

"When you have (Kasey) Cooper, (Branndi) Melero and (Morgan) Estell hitting behind her one of those three is bound to drive her in," says Myers of the player who leads the SEC in runs scored with 68. "When you just look at the numbers those four have put together, add their RBI?with runs scored, you are looking a great number."

That is a key reason why the Tigers are averaging 7.4 runs per game, which ranks No. 2 nationally going into NCAA Regional as one of 64 teams playing at 16 sites around the country.

Carosone says the Tigers are excited about being a part of postseason play in Minneapolis. "It is probably going to be a little chilly, but nothing we haven't done before," she notes. "We are ready, we are ready to win and go to the Super Regional."

Host Minnesota takes on Green Bay in the other first round matchup at Minneapolis in the tournament, which has a double-elimination format.

Carosone notes that the Tigers head into the event as a close-knit group. "We have a great bunch of girls," she says. "We are all just one big happy family. Coach is huge on family and that is what we are--sisters. We get along great and there is no one else I would rather be with."

At this time last year the Tigers were at home watching other teams in postseason play. Commenting on the job Myers has done with the team, Carosone says, "Coach gives us more confidence. We are always working hard and there is never a dull moment. We pay attention to the little things and we are really trying to get our defense and our offense going, and we have. We have been hitting the ball on the ground, which is what coach wants us to do, and it has gotten us pretty far."

The second baseman from Pine Castle Christian School in Orlando, Fla., says she believes the Tigers are in good position to perform well the regional. "I think our potential is very high. Our defense is No. 2 (nationally) and our offense is the best. Our pitchers have got to be ready to go and get the job done, and I know they will."

Carosone notes that she likes being at the top of the batting order. "Last year I wasn't the leadoff hitter, but in travel ball and high school I always was. I?know my job is to get on base. I like the role. I love hitting."

She also doesn't mind getting hit. "I am just looking for a way to get on," she says. "I am not going to move out of the way if you are throwing a pitch at me. I am just going to take it."

Carosone is one of the top players in the SEC this season.

Myers likes the way Carosone is hitting as the Tigers prepare to play North Dakota State, a team AU defeated in the regular season. "She had two home runs in the SEC Tournament--I am all for that," he says.

"She has really done a great job as our leadoff hitter and she has made some phenomenal plays defensively," the coach adds. "She is really getting better each and every day. We just want her to continue being Emily because she is the table setter."

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