Auburn softball enters Clemson Regional with ‘extra motivation’
When it came to picking a regional host, the No. 16 Auburn Tigers had a resume worthy of such honor. However, the NCAA Tournament selection committee failed to share those sentiments, thus moving Auburn into the traveling category.
Auburn will compete in the Clemson Regional, hosted by the No. 16 overall seed, Clemson. Should Auburn come out of the weekend on top, their next destination would be Norman, Oklahoma to face the postseason’s top overall seed.
D1Softball’s Rhiannon Potkey understands Auburn’s frustrations and feels that the orange and blue Tigers will have extra drive heading into the weekend.
The Tigers certainly have enough reasons to be miffed by their placing in the bracket. Not only did the committee not give Auburn a national seed, they sent the Tigers back to Clemson for the second straight season. Auburn beat Alabama and LSU head-to-head in SEC play, and both squads received national seeds over the Tigers. If they needed extra motivation, they got it.
This bracket will not be a breeze for any team, as the Clemson Regional features three of the game’s top pitchers in Auburn’s Maddie Penta, Clemson’s Valerie Cagle, and Cal State Fullerton’s Myka Sutherlin. Auburn’s performance against regional hosts such as Alabama and LSU should boost Auburn’s chances of winning the regional, as Potkey has predicted that Auburn will upset Clemson for the weekend victory.
Potkey likes Auburn’s chances should they get past Cal State Fullerton on Friday.
The Tigers have plenty of pop in the lineup, led by Nelia Peralta, Lindsey Garcia, and Denver Bryant among others. Auburn is 1-2 all-time in games against Cal State Fullerton. The two teams last met in Fullerton in 2015 with the Titans beating Auburn 3-2. That is where Auburn will start. They are just hoping for a better finish than the last trip to Clemson.
Auburn’s run to the Women’s College World Series begins Friday at 4:30 when the Tigers face Cal State Fullerton at McWhorter Stadium.
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