Auburn. Mississippi State. Haven't I already written this preview? Oh, yeah, that was baseball.
Yep, that's right, while the Baseball Tigers are taking on the Baseball Bulldogs in Starkville, the Softball Tigers welcome the Softball Bulldogs to the Plains for a weekend tilt.
Unlike the baseball series, though, this is not going to be a Top Ten match-up. It's barely a match-up with a single Top Ten team as Auburn has slipped a bit in the polls over the last few weeks. The Bulldogs are 28th if you count into the "others receiving votes" category while Auburn is 9th.
|ERA||Opponent ERA||Batting AVG||Opponent's BA%||Slugging %||On Base %|
This series is at home. It's the seniors' last for-sure time to play at Jane B. Moore Field. Are they likely to get a NCAA Regional? Sure, but this is their last time to play in front of a true home crowd. This is a series that Auburn should dominate.
There are questions surrounding the series, though. The suspended players are back with the team, but they didn't travel to Montgomery for the mid-week game. Will they play this weekend? Will Haley Fagan get the nod at SS? Will Makayla Martin get her spot back as Saturday's pitcher or did Ashlee Swindle's performance last weekend in Columbia give her a good chance to supplant Martin in the rotation? Officially, they're still suspended but will be in uniform.
The bats certainly looked good Wednesday night, but that was against Alabama State. Still, it was good to see Kasey Cooper pick up 4 RBIs and hopefully have her game back. The revelation of the year has been freshman Alyssa Rivera who is hitting a marvelous .422 on the season. Victoria Draper is almost a guaranteed baserunner, as well, with her speed to 1st on any hit.
Mississippi State has a good rotation of pitchers, but none on the level of Auburn's. Still, though, a team ERA of 2.87 is pretty good. That should show you just how key it is to get any run you can in the SEC this year. That has been the biggest issue for Auburn, so far. The Tigers have left way too many runners on base.
Auburn should win this series. Auburn should sweep this series. They honestly need to sweep this series before heading to Tuscaloosa for a big showdown with the Tahd next weekend. Let's see if they can put it all together and maybe even add another component with Ashlee Swindle pitching with Makayla Martin.
How to Watch:
Friday, April 28th: 6:00 pm Central, WatchESPN
Saturday, April 29th: 6:00 pm Central, WatchESPN
Sunday, April 30th: 12:00 pm Cental, WatchESPN