Auburn, Ala.--Last year in the first season with Clint Myers as head coach the Auburn softball Tigers were one of the most improved teams in the nation.
With almost all of the key players back for the 2015 campaign, the goal for the Hall of Fame coach’s second Auburn team is to make a run to the College World Series in Oklahoma City. Based on their performances from the opening week of the season, the Tigers are off to a good start after winning all six of their games.
None of those contests went beyond the fifth inning because of the “mercy” rule with the Tigers ahead by eight or more runs.
“I would have to say we swung the bats pretty darn good,” Myers said of his team’s opening week performance. “I think everybody through the lineup had some quality at-bats and through the weekend, and I don’t think we made an error today (Sunday doubleheader) and only two on the weekend.”
The Tigers, who finished with 42 wins and 19 losses last year, opened the season on Thursday with a 15-5 victory over Troy and followed that with five wins in their Plainsman Invitational. Auburn defeated UAB 11-2, Evansville 12-0, George Washington 8-0, Appalachian State 9-0 and closed the event with a 12-1 decision vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga.
“The pitching got better, the defense got better and the hitting was good so it was a good weekend for us,” Myers said.
The coach noted that he wasn’t pleased with the substitutes, as a group, when they got playing time. However, he added, “It is early in the season and they are going to get more chances as we grow and develop that sense a little more I think we will be more successful off the bench.”
Last season’s team steadily improved during the season and Myers noted that is “definitely” part of the plan for 2015. “We want the same thing to happen this year,” he said. “If you like analogies, let’s put out the Ohio State football team. They looked like a national championship team in the final game.
“This year at the beginning they weren’t very good and there were a lot of doubters, but they really came together and they were a great example of ‘Hey, listen, the game doesn’t stop just because you lose a key player. It’s how you react to that.’
“These are the things that we’re trying to get across, that no one person is bigger than our program,” Myers added. “It is the program that is going to be successful. We’re just a cog in that program.”
The Tigers have their post-game meeting on the field Sunday evening in front of their new video board at Jane B. Moore Field.
Next up for Auburn is the Tiger Invitational. Myers’ team is scheduled to play six games in the event starting with two on Thursday vs. Mercer (4 p.m. CST) and Georgia State (6:30 p.m.) at Jane B. Moore Field.
Myers made the move to Auburn from Arizona State.
“We said all along that this could be a very good team,” Myers noted. “These first six games are a good start, but it is the next 50 that count. It is not where we start the season, it is where we end the season that is most important.”
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