#40 Auburn Softball Preview

Auburn Tigers

Overall Rank: #40
Conference Rank: #9 SEC
Auburn College Softball Top 44 Team Rankings
Auburn Team Page


Head Coach Tina Deese, who won her 800th game in February 2012, will try to lead a talented but inexperienced Auburn Tigers squad to a sixth straight NCAA appearance.  Coming off a campaign where Auburn had a 15 game win streak and collected wins over Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, UCLA and Georgia, Coach Deese is optimistic. “The 2013 season will be an interesting year with nine freshmen on the team and seven of them should be consistent starters. We are excited about the entire group, as they are talented, but the youth of this group will be a huge challenge for us in the SEC.  This Tiger team should be stronger offensively than it has been in the past few years because of the addition of some team speed from the freshman class and athletes that will be returning.”  

2012: 33-23, 12-16
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tina Deese, 17th Season

Field Players:
A seasoned group of seniors will lead Auburn.  Middle infielder Brooke Lathan and Caitlin Jordan (1B) both hit eight home runs in 2012.  Catcher Caitlin Shultze returns to handle the young pitching staff.  “Each of these players with bring three years of playing experience out on the field with them and that experience will be valuable to the younger athletes,” Coach Deese said.  Red shirt sophomore Morgan Estell comes back after an injury.  As a freshman she was an All-SEC athlete.  Coach Deese indicated, “We are very excited about the return of Morgan Estell in 2013.  She will be back in center field and most likely hit in the leadoff spot.”

The Tigers are counting on a couple of young arms.  Freshmen Lexi Davis and Marcy Harper will need to grow quickly to give Coach Deese’s crew a chance to compete in the SEC.  She said, “We will be young on the mound but we will bring a few different looks.  Our success will be based on how well we manage our pitching staff and our ability to keep them healthy.”
Who to Watch:
Auburn’s nine freshmen will get a chance to demonstrate their capability early and often, with many of them expected to start regularly.  Coach Deese highlighted outfielder Tiffany Howard, “she is going to be fun to watch with her speed and energy.  She is a lefty that can run and she loves to play!”

Final Projection:
Auburn does not return a ton of offensive production.  Coupled with a very young pitching staff, Coach Deese has a challenging job ahead of her in the very tough SEC.  The veterans will need to effectively lead a young group that must mature rapidly just so Auburn can stay out of the SEC cellar.  Coach Deese’s experience and an early schedule that should allow them to collect some wins, will help this group come together.  Though they may not reach the SEC Tournament, Auburn should reach the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive year.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Brooke Lathan, IF, 157
Hits: Brooke Lathan, IF, 48
Home Runs: Brooke Lathan, IF, 8; Caitlin Jordan, 1B, 8
RBIs: Brooke Lathan, IF, 28
Runs: Brooke Lathan, IF, 34
Stolen Bases: Branndi Melero, OF, 6

Wins: Hilary Mavromat, P, 0
Innings Pitched: Hilary Mavromat, P, 2
Strikeouts: Hilary Mavromat, P, 0
Saves: Hilary Mavromat, P, 0

Madness 2013 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#14 Lexi Davis


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