The Auburn Softball season is now over after a 2-1 loss to Oklahoma last night. Makayla Martin pitched a gem of a game and only 2 Oklahoma runs crossed the plate and they were unearned.
That game could have gone either way and Oklahoma was able to get a few more breaks to take the ring. Clint Myers told the Auburn team when he arrived 3 years ago that he intended to take them to the World Series and now Auburn has been twice.
It has been a pleasure to report on Auburn Softball this season and the ladies have represented Auburn University well. Here are some of the highlights in my playbook.
1) Rachel Walters pitching a no hitter against Samford. She almost pitched a perfect game that evening, but did issue a walk.
After the walk, she retired 15 straight batters
that walk. Also, I might add that Jade Rhodes hit a grand slam in that game, Kasey Cooper was 2 for 2 with 4 RBIs, and Tiffany Howard had 3 hits and two RBIs. If you wanted to see the Auburn hitters at work, this was the game to watch.
2) The Auburn/UGA 3 game series in the regular season. Auburn was down by 2 runs in the first game of this 3 game series and Kasey Kooper hit a walk off 3 run home run in the bottom of the 7th inning with two outs. and Auburn won the game 4-3.
3) The 2016 SEC tournament in Starkville, MS. Auburn beat Alabama 6-4 and Makayla Martin pitched a great game. Clint Myers stated that "she was an ice queen out there." Auburn went on to upset the number 1 Florida Gators 2-1. Carlee Wallace hit a 2 run home run and
Kaylee Carlson put in a solid pitching performance. Auburn played LSU for the SEC Championship and came out with a dominating 7-1 win. The Tiffany Howard 2 run home run was the highlight of this game for me.
4)The Super Regional at Auburn's field against Arizona. I did attend the double header on Sunday. Auburn won the first game of the day 4-1 and the second game 6-1. The highlight for me was the Haley Fagan home run that hit near our seating area in left field.
5) The "historic" Women's College Softball World Series. Auburn began their quest for the "ring" on June 2. Auburn played UCLA in the first game and 4 batters were hit by pitches during the first inning and I will call this the "hit by a pitch" game. Auburn scored 5 runs in the first inning and won the game 10-3 and they were in the winner's bracket.
On June 4th, Auburn played UGA. Once again, Auburn came from behind in the 7th inning and won the game 4-3. Kasey Cooper and Emily Carosone drove in an RBI and Jade Rhodes hit a fielder's choice that gave Auburn the lead.
On June 5th, Auburn played FSU once again. FSU would have to defeat Auburn twice to play in the finals of the World Series. Once again, Auburn won this game in a dramatic 8-7 win. Victoria Draper made a diving catch in this game that I viewed later on ESPN. I really think that the catch may have given Auburn the momentum to win the game. The 8th inning started with a single by Madi Gipson to left field that was booted. The error allowed Madi to reach 3rd base. Morgan Podany went in as a pinch runner and scored on a fielder's choice by Whitney Jordan. In this game, Kasey Cooper set a school home run record that she shared with Jade Rhodes. She hit her 20th home run of the season. Also, the home run tied Emily Carosone's RBI total of 80 that was set in 2015.
Auburn would now face Oklahoma on June 6th for the World Series Championship. Oklahoma won the first game 3-2 and the big win came on Tuesday night when Auburn won the game 11-7 with a walk-off grand slam home run by Emily Carosone. Oklahoma led thos game 7-0 by the 2nd inning. This comeback set a record for the Women's College World Series as the biggest comeback in the history of the World Series. Kasey Cooper did break the Auburn RBI record in this game. Also, Tiffany Howard made the catch of the season by reaching over the left field wall and catching a sure 2 run home run by timing her leap perfectly.
6) Playing for "Turtle". Kelsey Bogaards had just returned to the line up after rehabbing her knee and blew out her other knee in her comeback. The Auburn team rallied around Kelsey and wore the green ribbons in their hair for the remainder of this season.
The pain of this loss still lingers for me: however, Auburn had their best season in school history with a 58-12 record. Auburn won their second straight SEC Championship and their first time in the "ring" game of the College World Series. As I have said before, Clint Myers has done wonders for this Auburn Softball program and I am already looking forward to next season. I am hoping that some of this magic will transfer to the football team.
Go out and watch this team play next season. There will be some tune up games in the Fall and we can all watch the new recruits play.
War Eagle and Thank you for memories.