Auburn, Ala.--Although his softball team is 14-2 and ranked No. 2 nationally. Auburn coach Clint Myers is looking for improvement with conference play on the horizon.
“We are trying to put the final touches on getting everybody ready to play LSU,” Myers said. “This is the final weekend for it. We do need some reps out of some people. We need some people to start playing like they are capable.”
A week from Friday the Tigers will open SEC play with a three-game home series vs. LSU. However, before then the Tigers have a home game on Thursday at 6 p.m. vs. Liberty before playing four games Friday through Sunday at their Wilson/DeMarini Classic.
“We are looking for that lineup that is going work,” said Myers, who has been experimenting with different players in the outfield and different batting orders.
Looking at the outfield, the coach said, “We have got two now that are pretty solid because they have given us quality at-bats and they are playing good defense so we have got one spot open and we have three people, maybe four people, who are trying to get that.”
The players he calls solid are junior center fielder Victoria Draper, a returning starter from 2016, and sophomore left fielder Morgan Podany.
“She has barrelled a few balls and she has had great practices,” Myers said of Podany, who he notes that all four coaches agree that she is doing the best job in left field.”
Morgan Podany is shown in action for the Tigers.
Draper, who is batting .407, agrees with her head coach about the importance of building momentum prior to SEC play. “We want to set a tone, we want to get rolling with our offense so when we go into the LSU (games) there are no worries,” she said.
Myers said three, and possibly four players, are still in the mix to be the starting right fielder. The group looking for playing time in the outfield includes returning starter Madi Gipson along with Alyssa Rivera, Carmen Greenwood, Whitney Jordan and Bree Fornis.
Three players have seen action at second base. The coach says that currently Casey McCrackin is No. 1 because of her combination of hitting, fielding and speed. K.K. Crocker, who was making a push for the starting spot prior to missing more than a week of games and practice due to illness, needs to improve defensively, according to the coach.
The other second baseman, Emily Spain, has performed well defensively this season, but has not produced at the plate.
“There is no reason to take McCrackin out,” Myers said.
The Tigers will also play Liberty at 6 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday they will take on College of Charleston at 3:30 p.m. and Texas State at 6 p.m. On Sunday the Tigers will play College of Charleston at 1 p.m.