AUBURN, Ala. — The postseason journey for Auburn softball starts today.
After a strange season on the Plains, one filled with coaching changes and suspensions, the Tigers have a chance to move closer to their ultimate goal: an appearance in the 2017 Women’s College World Series.
To reach that moment coach Clint Myers’ team will have to first defeat visiting East Tennessee State University at Jane B. Moore Field on Friday afternoon (ESPNU) in the NCAA Auburn regional.
Despite the unexpected twists and turns this year has brought, as well as an early exit from the SEC Tournament last weekend, Auburn has picked up a bit of speed heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Led by senior third baseman Kasey Cooper and first team All-SEC pitcher Kaylee Carlson, Auburn will have a chance to propel itself further into postseason play.
Here’s Auburn head coach Clint Myers’ starting lineup for today’s game between the Tigers and the ETSU Buccaneers:
- CF Victoria Draper
- 3B Kasey Cooper
- C Carlee Wallace
- RF Alyssa Rivera
- SS Haley Fagan
- 1B Kendall Veach
- DP Courtney Shea
- LF Morgan Podany
- 2B Casey McCrackin
Follow along for live updates of the NCAA matchup with Auburn beat reporter Lauren Shute:
Top 1st: Auburn 0, ETSU 0
- A groundout, a near double play and a strikeout from Makayla Martin brings about the bottom of the first inning.
Bottom 1st: Auburn 0, ETSU 0
- Victoria Draper bunts and reaches first base.
- Kasey Cooper makes contact, but her ball pops up to the shortstop.
- Carlee Wallace reached on a fielder’s choice, Draper is out at second base.
- Alyssa Rivera stuck out swinging.
Top 2nd: Auburn 0, ETSU 0
- Groundout to Kasey Cooper.
- Another strikeout for Makayla Martin.
- Groundout to Haley Fagan. That’s a quick inning for Auburn and it’ll bring up another chance to get on the board.
Bottom 2nd: Auburn 1, ETSU 0
- Haley Fagan grounds out to the shortstop.
- Kendall Veach nearly sends a homer over the left field wall, but just misses. It’ll be a triple and a run in scoring position for Auburn.
- Courtney Shea steps up and singles to right field — that brings in Veach and gives Auburn a 1-0 lead.
- Morgan Podany fouls out to third base.
- Casey McCrackin is walked, putting two runners on base for Auburn with Victoria Draper due up.
- Draper bunts and seems to believe she reached, but umpire calls her out, ending the inning.
Top 3rd: Auburn 1, ETSU 0
- Back-to-back strikeouts from Makayla Martin makes it a total of four for the right hander today.
- Groundout to Haley Fagan, inning over.
Bottom 3rd: Auburn 1, ETSU 0
- Kasey Cooper grounds out to second base.
- Carlee Wallace flies out to center field.
- Alyssa Rivera flies out to left field.
Top 4th: Auburn 1, ETSU 0
- Groundout to Haley Fagan to start a busy inning for the shortstop.
- Another groundout to Fagan.
- A single squeaks by Fagan into left field, but she makes up for it on the next play with yet another groundout. Inning over.
Bottom 4th: Auburn 1, ETSU 0
- Haley Fagan flies out to right field.
- Kendall Veach singles to left field for her second hit of her two at bats on the day. After that ETSU makes a pitching change.
- That doesn’t do much, though, as Courtney Shea is walked anyway.
- Jenna Abbott comes in to pinch hit for Morgan Podany and the move pays off. Abbott singles to right field, giving Kendall Veach enough time to cross home and notch another run for Auburn.
- Casey McCrackin gives Auburn a 3-0 lead with a bunt single.
- That starts the inning over, which puts Auburn in perfect position. Victoria Draper is walked. That loads the bases for Auburn and brings up who else but Kasey Cooper.
- Cooper is walked, which brings in another run.
- At that point Carlee Wallace steps up and sends a double down the left field line, clearing the bases and giving Auburn a 7-0 lead.
- After another pitching change, freshman Alyssa Rivera is hit by a pitch.
- Haley Fagan is walked, which loads the bases for an on-fire Kendall Veach.
- Veach is walked, making it 8-0 Auburn.
- With the bases loaded, sophomore Bree Fornis singles to right center, and Alyssa Rivera scores.