Expectations Are High for the Auburn Softball Tigers, Who Open the Season on Thursday

The Auburn softball team, which is ranked No. 4 nationally in the coaches preseason Top 25 poll, will be busy during the opening week of its season.

Emily Carosone (above) is a standout in the field and at second base.

Auburn, Ala.--With the opener set for Thursday evening and five games scheduled over a four-day period, Auburn softball coach Clint Myers said he believes the Tigers are ready to start what the team hopes will be a season that ends with a return journey to the College World Series.

With three All-Americans plus the entire pitching staff back, the defending SEC Tournament champions will take the field at 6 p.m. CST on Thursday to open the season vs. their visitors from  Appalachian State.

The Tigers will play at 5:30 p.m. on Friday vs. Western Kentucky in the Plainsman Invitational at Jane B. Moore Field. On Saturday the Tigers will take on Butler at 12:30 p.m. and Furman at 3 p.m. before wrapping up the opening weekend with a 1 p.m. game vs. Appalachian State.

Myers put the Tigers through a complete game scrimmage on Saturday and said he liked what he saw.

“There were some good things on all fronts,” Auburn’s third-year coach noted. “I?thought the pitching made some quality pitches. There were some really good swings. I?thought the defense was very good. We threw two people out on the bases from the outfield, and we didn’t give away things, so that is important.”

Senior second baseman Emily Carosone, who hit a line drive homer in the scrimmage, joins third baseman Kasey Cooper and left fielder Tiffany Howard as returning All-Americans from a team that posted a 56-11 record last season that included two wins in the College World Series.

Asked how the Tigers are rounding into shape with the season opener almost here, Carosone said, “I would say we are getting there and we are striving for the best. We are good right, but we want better. We are always trying to get better.”

Myers said he is looking for consistency from his team in all phases of their performance. “It is about going one through nine and having the bench strong,” he said.

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Clint Myers is looking for a return trip to Oklahoma City and the College World Series.

The Tigers return three experienced pitchers with seniors Lexi Davis, Rachael Walters and Marcy Harper all scheduled to pitch during the first week of the season and so are newcomers Makayla Martin, a freshman from San Diego, Calif., and sophomore Kaylee Carlson, a transfer from the University of North Carolina.

Harper is scheduled to start the opener and Myers pointed out that he liked how she performed in the scrimmage. “She made quality pitches,” he said. “She is a heck of a pitcher.

“She is pitching lights out,” Myers added. “This is her senior year. She wants it. She is not leaving anything in the tank.”

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