#26 Auburn Softball 2020 Preview

Auburn Tigers
Overall Rank: #26
Conference Rank: #9 SEC
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Auburn was 33-8 after a 5-4 win over South Carolina on April 12, 2019. After that point they finished the season on a 6-13 slide to end the year with a 39-21 record. The Tigers were sent out west to the Tucson Regional where they went 2-2 as they beat a good Colorado State team twice and lost to Arizona twice, including a 12-3 loss in the Regional Final. Auburn will have some retooling to do as they have lost a half dozen key players to graduation and transfers. Thus, it will be a critical season for head coach Mickey Dean and his staff as they try and get back to Oklahoma City.
2019: 39-21, 10-14
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mickey Dean
Key Departed Players:
Casey McCrackin, INF, .342 BA, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 14 SB
Taylon Snow, INF, .324 BA, 1 HR, 27 RBI, 5 SB
Kendall Veatch, INF/C, .289 BA, 20 HR, 48 RBI, 6 SB
Morgan Podany, OF, .242 BA, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 6 SB
Makayla Martin, P, 1.31 ERA, 11-2 W-L, 80.0 IP, 16 BB, 86 SO
Chardonnay Harris, P, 2.91 ERA, 11-7 W-L, 106.0 IP, 30 BB, 121 SO
Key Returning Players:
Alyssa Rivera, OF, .333 BA, 10 HR, 35 RBI, 18 SB
Tannon Snow, INF, .320 BA, 15 HR, 48 RBI
Brittany Maresette, OF, .267 BA, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 8 SB
Justus Perry, INF, .236 BA, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 3 SB
Ashlee Swindle, P, 2.96 ERA, 11-8 W-L, 132.1 IP, 50 BB, 76 SO
Lexie Handley, P, 3.42 ERA, 6-4 W-L, 69.2 IP, 48 BB, 66 SO
Alyssa Rivera and Tannon Snow will be a pair of seniors that will have to carry the offense in 2020. Rivera is a highly skilled all-around player as she hit .333, with ten homeruns, 35 runs batted in and 18 stolen bases. Snow hit .320 in 2019 with 16 homeruns and 48 runs batted in. She will be the primary power source that will keep opposing teams on edge all season long. Brittany Maresette and Justus Perry bring a mix of speed and timely power to help lengthen the lineup a little bit. It will give this lineup a nice boost if Maresette and Perry can add about 15-25 points to their batting averages in 2020. The pitching staff lost Makayla Martin to graduation and Chardonnay Harris via transfer to Troy in the offseason, which definitely hurts the Tigers. Ashlee Swindle and Lexie Handley do return, and they will have an opportunity to lock down the number one and two slots in the rotation. Swindle had a very strong 2019 season as she had a 2.96 earned run average, won 11 games and threw the most innings on the staff with 132.1 last season. Handley was 6-4 last season with a 3.42 earned run average, while walking 48 batters and striking out 66 batters in 69.2 innings. The key for Swindle and Handley will be to improve their WHIP and get that down closer to 1.00 in 2020. Auburn will take some time to gel but will find their way back to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament