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Auburn Softball Weekend Preview 17-19 March 2017: USF Tournament

The Tigers are in sunny Florida for the weekend for another tournament.

Carlee Wallace
Carlee Wallace
Wade Rackley / Auburn Athletics

After last weekend's LSU series, the Tigers had some time off due to their two mid-week games in Tennessee being canceled, the Tigers are still on the road for the next few weeks. This weekend, they're in Tampa/Clearwater for a tournament at South Florida.

The schedule for the weekend goes like this:

March 17th:

North Dakota State, 10:00 am Central
USF, 12:30 pm Central

March 18th:

Illinois, 11:00 am Central
Ohio State, 1:30 pm Central

March 19th:

Long Island University - Brooklyn, 8:00 am Central

Unfortunately, none of these games will be televised. If you want to listen to the call on the radio, here's a handy link to do so.

UPDATE: So, maybe a game or two will be able to be seen? Maybe? Hopefully. We'll see. Thanks for pointing this out, though!

ERA Opponent ERA Batting AVG Opponent's BA% Slugging % On Base %
Auburn 1.16 7.38 .297 .199 .495 .438
NDSU .2.85 2.13 .209 .240 UNK UNK
USF 2.77 3.56 .280 .271 .399 .356
Illinois 3.29 4.69 .320 .258 .486 .367
Ohio State 1.94 4.28 .280 .214 .472 .362
LIU-Brooklyn 6.12 5.47 .326 .364 UNK UNK

Game 1: North Dakota State (10-15)

The Bison rely on one ace pitcher, Jacquelyn Sertic, who is 8-11 for the season with a 2.85 ERA. They do have one other pitcher who has a decision in 6 games, but Sertic is their primary arm. She'll definitely be in for a tough test against Auburn's bats. She doesn't allow too many runs, though, for being the main pitcher. She obviously has impressive control since they do have a win against Ole Miss and a close loss to Arizona on their record, so far. They did get destroyed by Louisiana 15-0, though.

When it comes to their own bats, the Bison aren't terribly impressive. They've rarely scored over 4 runs in a game, and have only scored 6 twice. It's hard to say who Clint Myers will put out on the mound for this one, but it will be one of the best the Bison have seen either way.

Game 2: USF (18-11)

The host of the tournament will take on Auburn immediately following the Tigers' first game against NDSU. It's hard to guess who the Bulls will put on the mound first since they have multiple pitchers. It does look like they throw two different pitchers - often three - in every game, though. It has worked fairly well for them, as they have only allowed 2.77 runs per game with the staff.

At the plate, they have a decent batting average but don't look to score too many runs per game. They've faced some very good teams already this year, with a win over unusually struggling Michigan but some pretty bad defeats to Ole Miss and Florida. This could be a decent game, but if Auburn's bats are working remotely well, it should be a clear Auburn win.

Game 3: Illinois (12-7)

After two back-to-back games Friday, the Tigers have two more in a row on Saturday. The first up is Illinois. The Illini have some good bats and are good at getting runs across the plate. They average almost 5 runs per game and have a batting average of .320.

Their two primary pitchers appear to be Taylor Edwards and Breanna Wonderly. Both have decent but not great ERAs. They do have a deep bench of pitchers that they can go to, though, so they can definitely make a change if Auburn figures out one of their pitchers and starts getting hot.

While they do have an okay record at 12-7, they haven't fared well against ranked competition, losing to Oregon, Cal, LSU, and Missouri. They haven't given up a ton of runs doing it, though. They may be a bit more tired than Auburn coming into this one since they have the afternoon doubleheaders on Friday, whereas Auburn plays in the morning.

Game 4: Ohio State (12-6)

The Buckeyes also rely on multiple pitchers, with Shelby Hursh getting the most appearances. She has a 1.51 ERA, which is pretty good. I would imagine OSU will throw their best against Auburn, but who really knows? As a team, they have a decent ERA, overall.

At the plate, they average just over 4 runs per game and have a decent batting average of .280. That's good enough to win them games against average teams, but not against the best.

The Buckeyes have a good record, but their games against good teams (Washington, Georgia, Texas A&M) have all been losses. That doesn't bode well for them against Auburn.

Game 5: LIU-Brooklyn (12-11)

The Blackbirds have an impressive win on their schedule with a 10-5 win over ranked BYU. Other than that, though, they really haven't fared well against the bigger schools. Ohio State defeated them 5-0 earlier in the season. Arizona destroyed them 21-2.

They have a team 6.12 ERA. That's... not good. Especially against someone like Auburn. They do score a fair amount of runs themselves, though, with an average of 5.47 per game. They've got a good batting average and can hit the ball, but, again, that's against pitchers not named Makayla Martin or Kaylee Carlson. Their own pitching does not bode well or them against the likes of Auburn.

The Weekend:

There is a very good chance Auburn comes away from this weekend with a perfect sweep. Of course, anything can happen if the Tigers' bats struggle at any point. I'll put our pitchers up against anyone in the nation, though, and think they'll do enough to shut the other teams down. A sweep here would be huge before diving back into SEC play next weekend at Florida.