I know everybody around the Southeastern Conference loves to talk about football 12 months a year and there is nothing wrong with that. I do it, too, but there is still plenty of time to watch other sports and right now I am really enjoying following the progress of Coach Clint Myers and his Auburn softball team.
Auburn, the SEC Tournament champion, has a 52-9 record going into its super regional matchup on Friday and Saturday vs. Louisiana-Lafayette. Considering where the program was just two seasons ago before Coach Myers arrived the difference has been mind-boggling. I think you can say the same thing about the emergence of the SEC in this sport.
There are 16 teams competing this week for the eight spots in college softball’s World Series and half of the field in the super regionals is made up of teams from the SEC.
If you haven’t been watching college softball games in person or on TV you are missing a treat. On Sunday night after Auburn had clinched its spot in the super regional I sat there and watched back-to-back games with Baylor playing at Louisiana-LaFayette for the opportunity to take on the Tigers in the super regional that starts on Friday in Auburn. It was thoroughly enjoyable.
It is fun to watch how well coached the teams are at this level. It is easy to get caught up in the emotion of the games, something these players don’t hide, and they bring it the whole game.
College softball is fast-paced with a lot of action. Whoever made the rules did a good job with the substitutions that allow players, including pitchers, to leave and re-enter games. I just became a fan of sport in the last couple of years from watching it on television and I have really become interested in softball since Coach Myers made the move from Arizona State to Auburn.
I have had him as a guest on my radio show a couple of times and I really like his demeanor, his personality, his character and his family traits. It is a very healthy thing to see the family atmosphere that he has built with his Auburn program.
I am certainly not an expert on softball, but I can see that Auburn is a well-coached team that can win games in many different ways. It may be a great throw that is the difference in winning or losing, a perfectly executed bunt, a great running catch, a double play, a slap hit for a single or a long home run. They are all fun to watch.
It’s not just Auburn that has exciting players and strong coaches. The SEC is full of them and that is why the sport has blossomed across the league in recent years. I really enjoy watching it and my message to the Auburn folks who read this column is that if you haven’t watched the Tigers play this sport do yourself a favor and give it a try.
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