Kendall Veach (above) is leads the Tigers in home runs with 12.
Auburn, Ala.--Sophomore first baseman Kendall Veach was a key player for the Auburn Tigers the first time they played the Oklahoma Sooners this season.
Beginning on Friday, in the NCAA Auburn Softball Super Regional, Veach and her teammates will be trying to win a best two-out-of-three series vs. the defending national champion to earn a spot in the College World Series.
“Hopefully, I can provide some runs for my team,” said Veach, who hit a pair of solo homers vs. Oklahoma in the season opener for both teams in a game played in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Auburn won that contest 3-2.
The series is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. CDT on Friday with game two set for noon on Saturday. If a game three is necessary it will be played at noon on Sunday. Friday’s game will be televised on ESPN2 with the Saturday game set for ESPN.
Auburn, which is 49-10 overall, advanced to the super regional with three straight wins defeating East Tennessee State and then taking two games vs. the University of California. In the process AU’s hitters led the way with 40 hits and a .426 batting average.
“I think everyone sort of relaxed and was confident,” Veach said of her team’s performance in the regional. “We looked good and felt good. We went out there and did what we did.”
The Tigers know the challenge will be tougher vs. Oklahoma, which features star left-handed pitchers Paige Parker, who defeated Auburn in the national championship game last year, and Paige Lowary.
Kendall Veach runs the bases in the Auburn regional tournament.
Lowary, a hard-throwing transfer from Missouri, pitched against Auburn in the previous matchup this year. However, Coach Clint Myers predicts the Tigers will face Parker on Friday.
“She is a great pitcher,” said Veach, who saw Parker pitch in the World Series last year, but did not bat against the All-American. “She comes in with different speeds so we just have to be ready for that.”
Veach, who hit .400 in the regional, said the Tigers will need to play well in the field, too, against an Oklahoma team that will bring a 54-9 record to Jane B. Moore Field.
“They are a very good defensive team, too,” she pointed out. “For us we have to stay focused on defense. Our pitchers are going to give up some hits. We have to be ready to have their backs.”