AUBURN, Ala. — For the third season in a row, Auburn softball will host a regional and get the chance to host a super regional in the NCAA Softball Tournament.
Auburn (46-10) earned the No. 7 seed in the upcoming NCAA Softball Tournament on Sunday night. The Tigers’ regional is paired with No. 10-seed Oklahoma’s regional.
That super regional would be a rematch of the 2016 Women’s College World Series championship series.
“We’re excited,” coach Clint Myers said. “Where you are doesn’t really matter. It’s where you finish. I thought it was ironic, the (Oklahoma) matchup in the supers … but we’ve got a very good regional with four quality teams. We know a little bit about all of them.”
Notre Dame, California and East Tennessee State will come to Auburn for the regional tournament, which starts this Friday at Jane B. Moore Field.
“I think this is probably going to be one of the toughest regionals yet,” junior catcher Carlee Wallace said. “There’s no question. But we’re not afraid to talk about it. I think there’s great teams coming in Notre Dame and Cal and ETSU. I think no one’s going to be a pushover, so we’re going to have to bring our best.
“If we have to go up against a great team like Cal or Notre Dame or ETSU or Oklahoma, there’s nobody I’d rather have in my corner than the Auburn family. I think it’s huge, and I think we’re going to feed off that energy.”
Auburn will play ETSU at 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. Friday on ESPNU. Notre Dame and California will open the regional at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
“It’s going to be a good regional,” Myers said. “We’ve got to play good softball to have a good opportunity to play the winner of the other one.”
The favorite in “the other one” is Oklahoma, the defending national champion that defeated the Tigers in a thrilling Women’s College World Series championship series last year. Auburn defeated Oklahoma in extra innings to open the 2017 season.
But the Tigers aren’t going to come anywhere close to looking ahead to a potential rematch.
“It’s like any super regional to me,” Wallace said. “I don’t care who it is we have to face. At that point, it’s the best in the country, period. I’m really not too concerned about our opponent down the road. I think we’ll take care of business the way we need to and let our game plan take care of itself.”
This will be Auburn’s 13th regional appearance in program history. All 13 of them have come in the last 16 seasons, including nine in the last 10.
Auburn has made it to the Women’s College World Series in back-to-back seasons. The Tigers were the No. 4 national seed in both tournaments.
“The journey is all about the kids believing,” Myers said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach people that believe in me. If I can get people to believe in what we’re saying and what we can accomplish, that’s why we’ve been able to get three national seeds.”