The Auburn softball program got its first win in the Women’s College World Series, staving off elimination.
ESPN is reporting that Carley Wallace and Haley Fagan each collected two hits and helped send Tennessee packing. The Auburn softball team collected their very first WCWS victory, beating the Volunteers 4-2. Their victory will be short-lived, however, as Auburn must prepare themselves to face UCLA in another elimination game today.
Auburn softball has been expecting this since hiring head coach Clint Myers. Myers, who coached the Arizona State Sun Devils WCWS victories in both 2008 and 2001, was hired to raise the Auburn softball program to the elite level. Myers feels they are getting there.
“We’ve said that since day one — this program is going to win,” Myers said. “And these ladies are setting a legacy for future Auburn teams, and they’re setting it in the right way.”
Auburn (55-10) also beat Tennessee (47-17) in the SEC final this year.
The Auburn softball team scored all four of its runs against Tennessee in the third inning, highlighted by Wallace’s two-run double.
Tennessee did have the winning run at home plate in the seventh inning, but Auburn reliever Rachael Walters struck out the final two batters to end the game. Walters ended with five strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings of relief.
“I mean, Rachael just attacked,” Myers said. “I mean, here it is, and it was good to see.”
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Auburn softball opened a lot of eyes this year. Until last night’s loss, Auburn softball hadn’t lost a game since May 3. Auburn softball swept through the Super Regionals, beating Louisiana-Lafayette twice to get to the WCWS. Auburn softball finished the last 16 games in style, going 14-2.
Auburn softball is truly indicative of this year’s field, as Auburn is one of five SEC teams in the final field of eight, including LSU, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee. However, the Auburn softball team has no players with any WCWS experience. The only other team in the tournament with no experience in the WCWS is UCLA.
Myers does expect his Auburn softball team to overcome any obstacles. “It’s going to be in front of thousands and thousands of fans,” Myers said. “And it’s one of those things that you just got to go out and play the game, because if you get caught up in the peripheral stuff, it takes you out of the things like Tim (Walton) was talking about, being prepared. And it is a softball game.”
UCLA and Auburn will start sometime after 6 p.m. tonight in Oklahoma City.
[Image courtesy of Auburn University]