Photography: Johnny Lawrence

Auburn Is A Host Again for an NCAA Softball Regional

The Auburn softball Tigers will be at Jane B. Moore Field for their NCAA regional games as they open on Friday afternoon vs. East Tennessee State.

Kaylee Carlson (above) will take a 26-4 record into SEC play.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn softball team received a third straight NCAA regional host bid on Sunday night as the Tigers will play host to East Tennessee State on Friday while Notre Dame will take on the Cal Bears in the other opening round matchup at the Auburn Regional.

The Tigers will play at 3:30 p.m. CDT with the game scheduled for TV on ESPNU. No. 2 seed Cal and No. 3 seed Notre Dame will play at 1 p.m. to open the four-team, double-elimination tournament.

Auburn is the No. 7 national seed and if it wins its regional it would be host to the regional winner featuring No. 7 Oklahoma, the team that defeated the Tigers in 2016 national championship game.

"I thought it was ironic the matchup in the supers, but we have a very good regional--four quality teams," Coach Clint Myers said, adding that his team will need to perform well this weekend to have a chance to play the Oklahoma Sooners in a super regional matchup. The Tigers opened the 2017 season with a win vs. Oklahoma in a game played in Mexico.

East Tennessee State earned the right to play the Tigers by going 4-0 last week in the Southern Conference Tournament in Chattanooga to win their first ever NCAA Tournament bid. At 29-24 the Bucs are one victory shy of tying the school record for victories in a season.

Notre Dame is making its 19th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 22nd in the past 24 years. 

Cal has a 30-22 record while Notre Dame is 33-21. Auburn has not played any of those teams this season.

"Cal has our old pitching coach from Arizona State," Myers said of Chuck D’Arcy. "I don't know if he has changed the signs. If he doesn't we know them. It is going to be a good regional. We have to play good softball to have the opportunity to play the winner of the other (regional)."

It is a fourth straight NCAA Tournament bid for the Tigers, all under the direction of Myers. It is a third straight year the Tigers have been a national seed.

Auburn used home field advantage the past two years to help win their regionals and super regionals to advance to the College World Series for the first time in 2015 followed it with a return trip in 2016.

The Tigers will take a 46-10 record into the postseason, but will have to bounce back from perhaps their worst outing of the season in a 6-0 loss to LSU in semi-finals of the SEC Tournament on Saturday.

Photo by Johnny Lawrence

Clint Myers is looking for the formula to return the Tigers to Oklahoma City for the College World Series.

"The journey is all about the kids believing," Myers said of his team's success in postseason. "I have been very fortunate to coach people who believe in me. If I can get people to believe in what I am saying, and what we can accomplish, that is why we have been able to get three national seeds."

Myers added, "It is the belief system--the ability to have a belief and go out and pursue it with all of your heart and being to go out and be the team you want to be. We said at the beginning of the year this had the makings to be a good team, and possibly a great team, but there was some growing up to do and consistency (needed) and a belief we had to get to."

DATES/SITES/PAIRINGS

*Indicates Host Institution

Auburn Regional Schedule (All Times CDT)

Friday, May 19

Notre Dame (32-21) vs. California (30-22) - 1 p.m. (TV ESPN2)

No. 7 seed Auburn* (46-10) vs. ETSU (29-24)- 3:30 p.m. (TV ESPNU)

Saturday, May 20

Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – 1:30 p.m. (TV TBA)
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 4 p.m. (TV TBA)
Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 – 6:30 p.m. (TV TBA)

Sunday, May 21
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 – 1:30 p.m. (TV TBA)
Game 7: (if necessary) – 4 p.m. (TV TBA)  

Gainesville Regional — May 19-21 at Gainesville, Florida

No. 1 seed Florida * (50-6) vs. Florida A&M (23-30)

FIU (45-13) vs. Oklahoma State (35-23)

Tuscaloosa Regional – May 19-21 at Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Minnesota (54-3) vs. Louisiana Tech (37-22)

Albany (NY) (27-16) vs. No. 16 seed Alabama* (42-16)

College Station Regional – May 19-21 at College Station, Texas

No. 9 seed Texas A&M* (42-10) vs. Texas Southern (25-19)

Texas (31-24) vs. Texas St. (41-15)

Knoxville Regional – May 19-21 at Knoxville, Tennessee

Ohio St. (35-16) vs. USC Upstate (44-11)

Longwood (28-27) vs. No. 8 seed Tennessee* (44-10)

Los Angeles Regional – May 19-21 at Los Angeles, California

No. 5 seed UCLA* (42-13) vs. Lehigh (36-18)

San Jose St. (36-17) vs. Cal St. Fullerton (33-21)

Oxford Regional – May 19-21 at Oxford, Mississippi

Arizona St. (30-20) vs. North Carolina (38-19)

Southern Ill. (33-22) vs. No. 12 seed Ole Miss* (40-18)

Baton Rouge Regional – May 19-21 at Baton Rouge, Louisiana

No. 13 seed LSU* (41-18) vs. Fairfield (26-26)

McNeese (42-16) vs. Louisiana (45-6)

Tallahassee Regional – May 19-21 at Tallahassee, Florida

Georgia (33-21) vs. Jacksonville St. (40-10)

Princeton (25-18) vs. No. 4 seed Florida St.* (51-6-1)

Eugene Regional – May 19-21 at Eugene, Oregon

No. 3 seed Oregon* (47-6) vs. Ill.-Chicago (38-20)

Wisconsin (33-15) vs. Missouri (29-26)

Lexington Regional – May 19-21 at Lexington, Kentucky

Illinois (37-18) vs. Marshall (41-10)

DePaul (29-21) vs. No. 14 seed Kentucky* (36-17)

Salt Lake City Regional – May 18-20 at Salt Lake City, Utah

No. 11 seed Utah* (33-14) vs. Fordham (45-15)

Mississippi St. (36-20) vs. BYU (44-11)

Seattle Regional – May 19-21 at Seattle, Washington

Michigan (41-11-1) vs. Fresno St. (34-21)

Montana (35-22) vs. No. 6 seed Washington* (43-11)

Norman Regional – May 19-21 at Norman, Oklahoma

Tulsa (39-15) vs. Arkansas (31-22)

North Dakota St. (28-31) vs. No. 10 seed Oklahoma* (50-8)

Waco Regional – May 19-21 at Waco, Texas

No. 15 seed Baylor* (43-12) vs. Kent St. (32-26)

Oregon St. (28-25) vs. James Madison (50-6)

Tucson Regional – May 19-21 at Tucson, Arizona

South Carolina (32-23) vs. Saint Francis (PA) (48-9)

New Mexico St. (29-23) vs. No. 2 seed Arizona* (48-7)

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