Auburn lives to fight again!
After defeating the Tennessee Vols for the fourth time this season thanks to a big 4 run 3rd inning, Auburn moves on to yet another elimination game. It took an excellent relief appearance by Rachel Walters to close it out, but Walters was masterful in shutting down Tennessee and preventing anything further than the 2 runs they gained before Lexi Davis was pulled. Auburn now faces UCLA, tonight.
Wait, UCLA, you say? I thought they were in the other bracket? They are. Unbeknownst to me, the second group of teams that enter the loser's bracket swap sides. So, LSU will face the winner of Alabama / Oregon, and Auburn will face UCLA..
So what do we know about the Bruins? We know they're a softball powerhouse. They've won the Women's College World Series twelve times. They've been the runner-up on seven other occasions. That's nineteen total trips to the WCWS Finals. 19 out of 33 total WCWS Finals in history. That's a pretty good run. It's safe to say they've been here before.
For Auburn, everything is new. This is the Tigers' first trip. However, it's not Clint Myers' first rodeo, and you can bet he's still got this team focused.
The Bruins have the 39th best ERA in the nation, so the Tigers should have a better time getting the bats going. However, they're right behind Auburn in runs/game in the 5th spot and tops in the nation in batting average. They're a good team in a great league. The PAC12 has been the conference to beat in softball for the longest time. It's only recently that the SEC has begun to become such a dominant conference.
Like Auburn, the Bruins swept their Regional and Super Regional. They played SEC Missouri in the Super. They defeated Oregon in their first game of the WCWS, but lost to Michigan in their second game. This flipped them into Auburn's half of the bracket.
The season is on the line again. Win tonight and the Tigers will face Florida. They'll have to defeat the Gators twice in a row - no small feat - if they want to make it to the Women's College World Series Final.
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