Softball Tigers Still Eager to Improve

The fourth-ranked Auburn softball team is looking to advance to the College World Series by taking its performance to a higher level in the Super Regional.

Sophomore Kasey Cooper reaches first base in Auburn's victory over South Alabama in the Auburn Regional at Jane B. Moore Field.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn softball achieved a first in the program’s history on Sunday, making it to an NCAA Super Regional after defeating South Alabama 7-4 in come-from-behind fashion. However, the team is putting this historic win in the past and focusing on what’s ahead.

The No. 4 nationally-seeded Tigers will be the host to Louisiana-Lafayette in a best-of-three series that begins Friday, and even with all of the accomplishments that this team has attained this season the Tigers say they see much more on the horizon.

“I’m extremely proud of these ladies,” said head coach Clint Myers, who added, “I still believe that our best softball is ahead of us. I believe that this team can go as far as they want to go.”

Myers has said on multiple occasions that the goal for this team from the beginning of this season was to earn a trip to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. Third baseman Kasey Cooper says she believes that if her team plays to its potential it could be competing for much more later this month.

“The sky is the limit,” said Cooper, an All-SEC third baseman. “We haven’t all turned on at one time since the Arizona game. We are just building off of this. Eleven hits is something we haven’t had in a while. We are going to build off of this for the Super Regional.”

The win did not come without a price, though, as freshman catcher Carlee Wallace was hurt in the bottom of the fourth inning after a collision at home plate. The injury as well as lengthy discussions with the coaches and umpires caused a 37-minute delay in the game. After the win, the team’s thoughts were still with Wallace.

“It was scary because that is another sister,” said center fielder Morgan Estell, a senior and the team captain. “You never want to see anyone hurt. When I saw she wasn’t moving, it scared me. That’s why I started moving (from center field) and as soon as I realized that she was talking and moving around, I was okay. We were good now.”

The better news for Wallace and the Tigers is that she should be ready to resume her catching duties on Friday vs. Louisiana-Lafayette. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. CDT at Jane B. Moore.

Game two of the super regional round is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday and if a game three is needed to determine which team advances to the College World Series there will be a doubleheader on Saturday with the final game starting at 2 p.m.

Friday’s game at sold out Jane B. Moore Field will be televised on ESPNU while Saturday’s TV coverage is scheduled to be on ESPN.

Auburn, the SEC Tournament champion, will bring a 52-9 record into the matchup. Louisiana-Lafayette, a team that is tied with Michigan for the national lead in home runs with 112, has a 42-10 record.

The following are the other super regional matchups:

• Ann Arbor, Mich. (May 21-22): #14 Georgia vs. #3 Michigan
•Baton Rouge, La. (May 23-24): #12 Arizona vs. #5 LSU
•Eugene, Ore. (May 22-23): North Carolina State vs. #2 Oregon
•Gainesville, Fla. (May 23-24): Kentucky vs. #1 Florida
• Knoxville, Tenn. (May 21-22): #9 Florida State vs. #8 Tennessee
•Los Angeles (May 23-24): #10 Missouri vs. #7 UCLA
•Tuscaloosa, Ala. (May 22-23): #11 Oklahoma vs. #6 Alabama

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