Sophomore right-hander Kaylee Carlson (above) pitched all seven innings for the Tigers vs. UCLA on Thursday.
Oklahoma City--Auburn coach Clint Myers was in a jovial mood after his team’s opening game victory in the 2016 College Softball World Series and why not?
His Tigers jumped on UCLA early and were never threatened on the way to a 10-3 win.
Auburn’s starting pitcher, Kaylee Carlson, made her World Series debut with a complete game victory to improve her record to 17-2. She threw 101 pitches with 62 being strikes.
“I thought we played very well,” Myers said. “I thought this young lady (Carlson) did an outstanding job. We had one little hiccup there in the middle, but again, it’s about how you finish.
“She composed herself, went out there, and threw zeros the rest of the way. I thought we followed the Auburn plan.
“We played great defense, no errors, minimal amount of walks and good pitching,”?Myers pointed out. “We certainly had timely hitting so again those are the things that we talk about and preach every day.
“We are very excited about where we are, and we played a very good UCLA ball club, and to come out on top, we are real excited.”
Auburn took advantage of UCLA’s pitching struggles to score five runs in the first inning with just one hit, a double by Kasey Cooper, and plenty of help from four batters reaching base after being hit by pitches.
“It was an unusual inning, but again, it is what we do,” Myers said. “We take advantage of what they give us. If they are going to throw it in the box, we are going to get it. I mean, it is pretty simple.
“We did what we needed to do in that first inning, and it was a very good first inning for us because of the fact that we executed timely hitting and taking advantage of what they gave us.”
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Kaylee Carlson improved her record to 18-2 for the Tigers.
The Tigers will take on SEC rival on Georgia in a winners bracket game at 6 p.m. CDT on Saturday instead of Friday evening as previously scheduled. Auburn won each of the three regular season games vs. the Bulldogs. Myers said the Tigers plan to focus on themselves, not Georgia. “It is about us going out and taking care of what we do. I tell the girls--in fact, we just finished visiting in the locker room, and we have got to play the game. We have got to play the game.
“The coaches will take care of the strategy about Georgia and the matchups and things like that, but what you've got to do is have your quality at-bats. You've got to take care of things that you have complete control over.
“We beat them three times. We swept them at home, and so it’s--we know what we need to do, and again, on those days, in those games, we did exactly what we had planned going into it so it's about execution. It's about playing Auburn softball and making it happen.
“We know what our strengths are,” Myers added. “We know what we need to do in order to win. I'm feeling pretty good about these young ladies.”
Auburn vs. UCLA game notes:
*Auburn improved its overall College World Series to 3-2 in its second trip to the even in Oklahoma City. UCLA is 91-32 in 26 appearances.
*Auburn is 2-0 in games vs. UCLA in the World Series, winning 11-10 last year in extra innings, sending the Bruins home from the tournament.
*UCLA pitcher Selina Ta’Amilo took the loss in the contest, falling to 19-6 for the season after allowing four runs on one hit and hitting two batters in just 1/3 of an inning.
*Ta’amilo and Paige McDuffee each hit two Tiger batters in the first inning. The four hit-by-pitches set a season-high for Auburn.
*The attendance of 8,482 was the highest ever for the opening session of the World Series.
Updated Women's College World Series Bracket: