Auburn Softball’s 2017 has been underwhelming. That sounds an asinine thing to say about a team currently ranked seventh in the country. But, everything is relative. We started the season ranked second.
Currently Florida, Texas A&M and Tennessee all have better conference records than Auburn. The Tigers are, however, back-to-back defending conference tournament champs. We’ll soon see if they once again step it up for the conference crown.
Auburn has 11 regular season games remaining between now and then. Let’s take a look at the home stretch.
Kennesaw State, HOME, April 19
Auburn’s final home, regular season non-conference game is no gimme. Well, maybe not. The Kennesaw State Owls are 31–13 overall, 7–5 in the Atlantic Sun conference. They haven’t played any SEC opponents this season. (A game scheduled with Georgia was rained out.) In four games against SEC teams last season, the Owls were outscored 33 runs to 2.
So Auburn should be able to get win no. 37 without any cardiac strain on the fans. Should be able to.
When you have to sweat out a win after scoring 16 pic.twitter.com/vyIBrhcpG7
— Clint Richardson® (@Clintau24) April 12, 2017
Update: The Tigers bested the Owls, 7–3. Here are the highlights.
— Auburn Softball (@AuburnSoftball) April 20, 2017
South Carolina, AWAY, April 21–23
The Gamecocks are 27–18 overall, and just 3–11 in conference. One of those three wins, however, was a 14–0 shellacking at Tuscaloosa. So, they can on occasion be dangerous.
More recently, they split two games with eighth-ranked Florida State. Pitcher Cayla Drotar was named SEC Freshman of the Week for her performance in the win. We’ll have to hit her well if we want to fare better than the Seminoles. And, we do want to fare better than free shoes. We want to sweep So Car on the road, and build some confidence going into the final two weekends.
Alabama State, Lagoon Park in Montgomery, April 26
The Hornets are 12–27. We beat them 14–0 earlier in the season. This one should be no contest.
Mississippi State, HOME, April 28–30
The bulldogs are 32–14 overall, but just 6–9 in conference. They have won six of their last eight, taking series from Georgia and South Carolina, plus two non-conference wins.
What's the only thing that could make a four-homer weekend from @Carolineseitz better?
— MSU Softball (@HailStateSB) April 16, 2017
This series will be Auburn’s final home stand of the regular season. (We can still hope to host a regional and super regional.) It’s a chance to get three wins, and take some momentum on the road, to the school up the road.
Alabama-Tuscaloosa, AWAY, May 5–7
Al-Tusc is 36–9 overall, 10–7 in conference. They recently lost two close games at Knoxville; the third was rained out.
While we’re hosting State, they’ll be at Oxford; likely beating up on the Rebels.
They will be pumped to end the season at home against us. We’ll need to play our best ball to come out on top.
So there you have it—the 11 games remaining before Auburn begins the postseason. The 2017 campaign hasn’t gone exactly to plan. But, it’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.
Let’s finish just a little stronger than last year; then roll Toomer’s Corner all Summer. War Eagle!
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