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Auburn Softball vs South Carolina Series Preview and How to Watch

Auburn will - once again - hope to get past some off-field distractions in Softball.

Alyssa Rivera
Alyssa Rivera
Dakota Sumter / Auburn Athletics

The Tigers are on the road in Columbia, S.C. to take on the Gamecocks this weekend. Unfortunately, two very important starters didn't make the trip with them. Starting shortstop Haley Fagan and starting pitcher Makayla Martin - along with bench player Brittany Maresette - were arrested in the wee hours of Thursday morning on various drug charges for marijuana. All three have been suspended indefinitely.

This is the latest in a string of off-the-field (and somewhat on-the-field in the case of the shoving incident at UF) that Auburn will have to get over. Fagan - who was out most of the last season - will be replaced by Whitney Jordan, who played in that spot last year. Replacing Makayla Martin will be a bit more difficult, though. Thankfully, not as hard as if it were Kaylee Carlson, but it will still be a bit of a burden on freshman Ashlee Swindle and senior Jenna Abbot to try to take up the Saturday role to give Carlson some rest.

ERA Opponent ERA Batting AVG Opponent's BA% Slugging % On Base %
Auburn 1.77 5.93 .288 .221 .468 .415
USC 3.12 4.31 .295 .239 .459 .384

For multiple weeks in a row, the stats haven't really looked that good for Auburn. This doesn't look too awful because Auburn's strength is in pitching. However, there's the whole "Makayla Martin isn't going to be pitching Saturday" thing.

The good news for Auburn is that Kasey Cooper - who, oh yeah, we have to hope can play after taking the ball to the eye the other night in warmups - has been hitting better, Alyssa Rivera has come on strong at the plate, and that Carlee Wallace is still hitting up a storm at the plate. Hopefully, Kendall Veach will get out of her slump, too.

For the Gamecocks, they also rely on two pitchers for the most part. Their ERAs are ok, but not on the order of Carlson or Martin DAMN IT. Ugh. At the plate, their top hitter is Mackenzie Boesel, averaging .348. They're not the best hitters, but their stats are still looking better overall than Auburn's, right now.

This is going to be a tough series for the Tigers as they try to overcome yet more distractions. This is the type of thing that can really test a team. Will they come together even more and get back to the way they were playing last season? Or, will this be one issue too many and cause the season to unravel? We'll find out, soon, I guess.

How to Watch:

Friday, 21 April: 5:00 pm Central, SEC Network+

Saturday, 22 April: 1:00 pm Central, SEC Network+

Sunday, 23 April: 12:00 pm Central, SEC Network+