Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
That’s true for many facets of life, and at least in the realm of success and effectiveness, especially true for Auburn softball through the first weekend of the season.
Mickey Dean’s tenure as head coach at Auburn began with a bunch of wins and a bunch of nothing from the opposing offenses as the Tigers won six games in three days to open 2018. The Tigers began the season with a silencing victory over Marshall —
Then they followed it up with a 2-0 victory over Wichita State —
Nice first day, huh? Auburn shut out the first two opponents of the year and headed into Day 2 of the Plainsman Invite at 2-0. On Friday, the Tigers then got into action with Tennessee Tech and Furman and shut out both opponents there as well.
If there was any concern to this point about how the opening weekend was going, it was that the offense hadn’t exploded like we’d seen over the past couple of seasons of the Clint Myers tenure. Yeah, there were a fair few new faces, and we were missing Kasey Cooper. Still, Auburn was thrashing teams by scores of 28-2 and the like. We wanted more of that, and we finally got it when the offense broke out yesterday afternoon when Tennessee Tech came back around for more.
Those are the Tiger bats we’re used to seeing at Jane B. Moore Field. Justus Perry and Kendall Veach both homered, and Auburn scored eight runs in the bottom of the first before run-ruling Tennessee Tech in the 5th inning. Auburn finished up yesterday’s doubleheader with another run-ruling of Furman in six innings, although the Tigers did end up having their perfect defensive record ruined thanks to the Paladins scoring a single run in the 5th inning.
Here’s Mickey Dean after the final win of the weekend.
Unfortunately, thanks to the impending inclement weather, the two games today were canceled and the weekend ended with Auburn at 6-0.
Through the first weekend, here are our stat leaders:
- BATTING AVERAGE - Victoria Draper - .538 (7-13)
- HITS - Taylon Snow - 10
- RUNS - Victoria Draper - 7
- DOUBLES - Alyssa Rivera - 2
- TRIPLES - KK Crocker/Kendall Veach - 1
- HOME RUNS - Justus Perry - 2
And let’s not forget the pitching staff, where the Tigers made their bones this weekend after renewed emphasis in the offseason.
- WINS - Kaylee Carlson - 3 (3-0 overall record)
- COMPLETE GAMES - Kaylee Carlson - 3
- SHUTOUTS - Kaylee Carlson - 3
- ERA - Kaylee Carlson/Makayla Martin/Chardonnay Harris/Ashlee Swindle - 0.00
- STRIKEOUTS - Kaylee Carlson - 20
Mickey Dean wanted his pitchers to hurl a little harder during the offseason, and it certainly paid off through the first weekend with five shutouts and a bevy of strikeouts. All in all, things couldn’t have gone much better for Auburn. Unlike last season, they didn’t begin the year against the defending national champions, and so the Tigers were afforded a little bit of a warmup with a ton of new faces.
Next up, Auburn will take on Troy this Wednesday (Valentine’s Day!) on the road and then they’ll host the Tiger Invite next weekend. Beginning Friday, the Tigers will host Delaware, St. Francis (PA), Maryland, and Georgia State.
Good start to the 2018 season, War Eagle!