AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn softball has won eight out of its last nine games. It firmly sits in the top 10 of the national rankings. Through the first 40 games of the season, the Tigers have only lost six times.
However, as No. 7 Auburn (34-6, 8-4 SEC) heads into a weekend series against Missouri (23-16, 4-7 SEC), there’s a feeling around the club that the Tigers should be doing so much more. One of the nation’s most prolific offenses from the past few seasons has only scored double-digit runs once since the start of SEC play.
“We obviously have some work to do,” freshman outfielder Carmyn Greenwood said. “We just need to barrel some balls more and focus on quality at-bats.”
Auburn only scored 10 runs in a series last weekend against Ole Miss — the exact number the Rebels scored in a Game 2 victory over the Tigers. One season after batting .325 with a .525 slugging percentage, the Tigers are down to .286 and .470 in those two categories.
Strong pitching, especially from No. 1 starter Kaylee Carlson, and the nation’s top double-play defense are leading to a lot more wins than losses for Auburn. But after back-to-back trips to the Women’s College World Series and two SEC Tournament titles, this younger Auburn team has plenty of room to improve.
“We have to prove that we can win consistently,” Auburn coach Clint Myers said. “We’ve done a great job. It’s been a great season. … Is a coach really ever satisfied? We see little things that we can do better, that can make us better, that can help us win easier and be more consistent. To win a national championship, you have to be consistent. You have to be able to take care of the little things.”
On paper, Auburn should take care of business this weekend against Missouri, a team with the second-lowest overall winning percentage in the SEC. But two of the visiting Tigers’ four conferences wins this season came against perennial powerhouse Alabama.
In spite of a couple of tougher weeks for the program, the Tigers want to stay positive and keep pushing toward a big breakthrough. With only four weekends of SEC play left in the regular season, making it happen in the Missouri series would be perfect timing.
“It’s all about us keeping within ourselves and keeping the confidence in ourselves that, hey, those hits are going to start falling sooner or later,” junior outfielder Victoria Draper said. “You keep hitting the ball on the screws like that, it’s going to fall. Us staying confident within ourselves can take us a long way. We’ll start producing the runs we want to produce.”
Projected Auburn softball lineup vs. Missouri
Projected Auburn softball starting pitchers vs. Missouri
Game 1: Kaylee Carlson, junior (20-1, 1.13 ERA, 83 K, 28 BB, .210 avg.)
Game 2: Makalya Martin, sophomore (14-5, 1.97 ERA, 80 K, 33 BB, .218 avg.)
Game 3: Kaylee Carlson
Auburn softball vs. Missouri times, how to watch online
Game 1: 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT (SEC Network+)
Game 2: 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT (SEC Network+)
Game 3: 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT (ESPN)
Location: Jane B. Moore Field; Auburn, Ala.
How to watch online: SEC Network+ and ESPN on WatchESPN
Broadcast team (ESPN): Beth Mowins (play-by-play) and Michele Smith (analyst)
Live stats: Stat Broadcast
Radio: Locally 95.9 FM; online at AuburnTigers.com