Clearwater, Fla. (EETV)- No. 23 Auburn Tigers are currently 3-2 after three days at the 2020 NFCA Leadoff Classic. Auburn started off the weekend with a double-header on Friday. After a tough loss against Baylor, 8-0, the Tigers quickly bounced back with a win over Notre Dame. A big rally in the seventh-inning confirmed the first win for Auburn softball with the final score being 4-1.
Head coach Mickey Dean said, “It was a quality win, which is big. We did a lot of things right, but there are still things we need to work on. We may not be our best in the beginning, but we want to be our best at the end of the season.”
On Saturday, Auburn secured two more wins with two fourth-inning rallies against Liberty and Texas State at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex. Liberty leads 3-0 in the first inning, but back-to-back home runs from freshman Madison Koepke and senior Justus Perry in the fourth inning helped put Auburn back in the lead for a 5-3 win. The Tigers started off slow in the second game of the day against Texas State, but ended with a 3-1 win.
After the win against Texas State, Justus Perry said, “Just our fight. We have girls coming off the bench that are producing, and that’s new for this team. Freshman and returners- people coming off the bench to produce. You can see how much of a difference it makes.”
Madison Koepke said about her first collegiate home run, “I knew I needed to get the ball in the air because I had a runner on third and knew she was going to tag. I saw the ball in the air, so I knew I did my job. Then I saw it go over the fence. I was shocked and nearly started crying. I was excited.”
The Auburn Tigers were 3-1 going into the NFCA Leadoff Classic Finale on Sunday. After Auburn had two crucial errors, Illinois took the 2-0 victory. Head coach Mickey Dean said, "We were chasing at balls all day – not every batter, but I would say 10 out of the 12 batters that we used. We knew the pattern going in. We just didn't execute. We've got to get better every day. You've got to own that, and if not – what do you need to do to change that? We work on things. We know what we're supposed to do."
No. 23 Auburn will play their first home game at Jane B. Moore Field on Thursday, February 13th against Kennesaw State. The game will start at 6 p.m. CT and will be shown on SEC Network+.