AUBURN, Ala. — A lot has happened for Auburn softball since its last home game nearly a month ago. The Tigers pitched a perfect game, saw their associate head coach abruptly resign and swept Georgia for the first time on the road in school history.
Now the No. 5 Auburn softball program (31-5, 6-3 SEC) is back at home for seven straight games, starting with a weekend series against No. 22 Ole Miss (25-11, 2-7 SEC). The home stand will be a much-needed boost for the Tigers, who had a roller coaster of a stretch last week.
“We’re coming home to all our lovely fans this weekend,” freshman outfielder Alyssa Rivera said. “Finally being back on home ground just feels so good and comfortable. We’re just ready to get back out there.”
Auburn has won eight of its last 10 meetings with Ole Miss, including a sweep in Oxford, Miss., last season. But the visiting Rebels won’t be an easy breeze by any stretch. They rebounded from back-to-back sweeps to start SEC play by taking two out of three against No. 20 Kentucky last weekend.
Ole Miss isn’t too far behind Auburn in many major hitting categories this season, and both teams average more than six runs per game. Six different Ole Miss batters have batting averages above .300, and Elantra Cox is batting an impressive .484 this season.
The Tigers found their groove again at the plate last weekend following a low-scoring series loss at No. 2 Florida. Auburn scored 24 runs in three games, with junior catcher Carlee Wallace and first baseman Kendall Veach leading the way with several extra-base hits.
“I think I’m just not really focusing on the outcomes,” Wallace said. “I’m just kind of having fun with my team and kind of putting together some good at-bats and playing for my team. It’s all kind of coming together right now, which is nice.”
Auburn will look to take advantage in the pitching circle, where the Tigers have an ERA one full point better than the visiting Rebels. Starting pitchers Kaylee Carlson and Makayla Martin overcame the departure of pitching coach Corey Myers last weekend with a strong sweep of the rival Bulldogs in Athens.
“They did something that Auburn’s never been able to do, and that’s take three from Georgia at Georgia,” head coach Clint Myers said. “So however (the resignation) affected them, I hope it continues, because they were lights out.”
Projected Auburn softball lineup vs. Ole Miss
Projected Auburn softball starting pitchers vs. Ole Miss
Game 1 (Friday): Kaylee Carlson, junior (18-1, 1.21 ERA, 70 K, 28 BB, .211 avg.)
Game 2 (Saturday): Makalya Martin, sophomore (13-4, 1.32 ERA, 75 K, 29 BB, .199 avg.)
Game 3 (Sunday): Kaylee Carlson
Auburn softball vs. Ole Miss game times, TV, how to watch online
Game 1 (Friday): 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT (SEC Network+)
Game 2 (Saturday): 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
Game 3 (Sunday): 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Location: Jane B. Moore Field; Auburn, Ala.
How to watch online: ESPNU and SEC Network+ on WatchESPN
Broadcast team (ESPNU): Courtney Lyle (play-by-play) and Jenny Dalton-Hill (analyst)
Live stats: Stat Broadcast
Radio: Locally 95.9 FM; online at AuburnTigers.com