Jade Rhodes (above) is greeted after hitting a home run on Sunday.
Auburn, Ala.--After a very strong opening week while dominating five home games, Coach Clint Myers and his Auburn softball Tigers will take their show on the road for six games in Florida this week.
The Tigers will take on Central Florida on Wednesday at 9 a.m. CST in Orlando before playing Oklahoma State, South Florida, James Madison, DePaul and Fordham Friday through Sunday at the Michele Smith ?Invitational in Clearwater.
“We are going to be facing some very good competition,” said Myers, whose Tigers outscored their opening five opponents 87-10 in games played Thursday through Sunday at Jane B. Moore Field.
“We are going to be facing two All-American pitchers so it will be a little bit different,” said Myers, whose Tigers are ranked No. 4 nationally. “It will be in the high 60s (miles per hour by opposing pitchers) instead of the low 60s. We have our work cut out for us. We will know what kind of team we are when we get back from Florida.”
The Tigers are batting .446 as a team with a slugging percentage of .776. They smashed 10 home runs and finished their first five games with an on-base percentage of .575.
The Tigers have 18 players with batting averages of .333 or higher. “When you are able to extend a lead with your bench coming into play that is big,”?Myers said. “It is nice to see that all the facets were coming together the last two days with the starters swinging the bat well and the kids coming off the bench and hitting the ball really well.”
Whitney Jordan is Auburn's new starter at shortstop, filling in for Haley Fagan, who is out with a knee injury. She is batting .417 with two homers and 11 RBI.
The pitchers posted an earned run average of 2.07 led by senior Marcy Harper, who was 2-0 record and did not allow a run in nine innings while giving up just four hits.
“I thought the pitching was outstanding,” Myers said after the Tigers closed their Plainsman Invitational with a 22-5 victory over Appalachian State. “We tried to put the pitchers in different scenarios and they responded well.
“I wish our starting defense could have played a little bit more, but when you are making mass substitutions like we were to get everybody in it was tough,” Auburn’s third-year head coach added. “I think there are a lot of pluses that we have coming out of this tournament. I think everybody is looking forward to going down to Florida to see what we can do.”