Auburn, Alabama (EETV)- Auburn Softball is just around the corner as they open the season next week in Gulf Shores. Coming off a disappointing end to the 2018 season, the Tigers will have their sights on Oklahoma City this year.

After the departure of Kaylee Carlson, the Tigers will look to Makayla Martin to be the leader in the circle. Martin has recently been named to the USA Softball Player of the year watchlist. 

Last season Martin had a 15-7 record and a 1.36 ERA in a 130 games that she pitched which is the best in school history.

In the field, the Tigers defense has some familiar faces from last season. The infield is led by shortstop Taylon Snow and second baseman Kasey McCrackin. Snow, who was an SEC All-Freshman in 2018, had a .325 batting average with 23 RBI's. McCrackin had a .313 batting average 29 RBI's and 8 home runs.

The outfield for the Tigers will be slightly changed with the absence of Victoria Draper. Auburn will return junior Alyssa Rivera and senior Morgan Podany. 

Kendall Veach will be the favorite to start at third and catcher. Veach had a .237 and 7 home runs last year.

Head Coach Mickey Dean will be coaching his second year on the plains. Dean led Auburn to an impressive 29-3 record at home and a 41-17 record overall.

The Tigers are ranked 21st by Softball America and are projected to finish ninth in the SEC. Auburn will open up with Tennessee State on February 8th and will return home against UAB February 14th.