The Auburn softball team is undefeated after eight games into the season. And for the first time this year the Tigers are ranked in the top 25 (No.19) by ESPN/USA's Softball Top 25 Poll.
The Tigers were ranked following their showing in last weekends SEC/ACC/Big 12 Challenge. Auburn went 3-0 in the tournament including defeating No. 15 Oklahoma State 8-0 and No.23 Georgia Tech 12-5.
In addition Angel Bunner pitched a no-hitter to defeat Virginia Tech in a one run game. It was the first no-hitter of her career. The Tigers had timely hitting and great pitching to finish the tournament undefeated.
"I am really proud of the way we played this weekend," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "We hit the ball extremely well against Georgia Tech. We stayed aggressive from start to finish and did a great job responding when Georgia Tech scored and then took the lead again. And Lauren Schmalz did a nice job preventing them from rallying after we took the lead for good."
Schmalz now has a 4-0 record and was named SEC Pitcher of the Week for her tournament performance.
After finishing a 10 game home stand the Tigers will now hit the road for the first time this season. They will face Georgia State at 5 p.m. today in Atlanta before traveling to Boca Raton, Fla.to participate in the Strike Out Cancer Tournament.
In remarks about her team's No.19 ranking, Coach Deese said,
"It's nice to be recognized for what we have done, but it really doesn't mean much right now. We have a long way to go and the only thing we should be thinking about is playing Georgia State."
What else would you expect to hear from the longest tenured coach in the Southeastern Conference? Deese keeps her focus and her team's focus on the next challenge.
It's a proven formula that has seen the Tigers appear in 11 of the past 12 Southeastern Conference Tournaments and seven of the past eight NCAA Regionals.