#25 Auburn Softball 2019 Preview

Auburn Tigers
Overall Rank: #25
Conference Rank: #11 SEC
Auburn Logo
Auburn nearly made a big splash in the NCAA Tournament. After beating Kennesaw State in their opener, the Tigers took host Florida State to extra innings before eventually falling 2-1. That was a tough loss and Auburn was not able to get to the Regional Finals and get another shot at the Seminoles. Coach Mickey Dean returns more than enough talent to get back to the tournament. Competing for an SEC title may be a little out of reach, but this is a dangerous group that can make some noise in May.
2018: 41-17, 11-12
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mickey Dean
Key Departed Players:
Victoria Draper, .373 BA, 13 RBI, 38 SB
Courtney Shea, .292 BA, 5 HR, 33 RBI
Kaylee Carlson, P, 1.37 ERA, 21-7 W/L, 183.2 IP, 121 SO
Key Returning Players:
Taylon Snow, IF, .325 BA, 23 RBI
Casey McCrackin, IF, .313 BA, 8 HR, 29 RBI
Alyssa Rivera, OF, .285 BA, 9 HR, 33 RBI
Justus Perry, IF, .282 BA, 5 HR, 31 RBI
Kendall Veach, IF/C, .237 BA, 7 HR, 22 RBI
Tannon Snow, IF, .219 BA, 6 HR, 31 RBI
Makayla Martin, P, 1.36 ERA, 15-7 W/L, 134.0 IP, 95 SO
Pitcher Kaylee Carlson needs to be replaced after sporting an impressive 1.37 ERA last season. In 2018, Carlson split time with Makayla Martin in the circle. Martin is back and will lead the pitching staff after boasting a 15-7 record with a 1.36 ERA. The options to pick up the innings lost with Carlson are good ones. Junior Ashlee Swindle and sophomore Chardonnay Harris both performed well in limited action last year. But Auburn also hopes Lexie Handley can shake off the rust and emerge as a dominate pitcher in the SEC. Handley spent one season at Akron in 2017 where she was named the 2017 MAC Freshman of the Year. Auburn had the fourth best ERA in the nation last year and that may be extremely difficult to replicate without Carlson. The hitters may pick up some of the slack though. There is a lot of experience back at the plate so even if the pitching takes a step back, the offense should take a step forward.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament