AUBURN - The 23rd-ranked Auburn softball will take on the third-ranked Florida Gators in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Oxford, Miss., on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. CT. The game will be aired live by ESPNU.
Auburn enters the tournament at 38-16 overall and 15-13 in the SEC and is the seventh seed. The Gators are 47-8 overall and 21-7 in the league and is the second seed. Florida swept a three-game series from the Tigers in Auburn April 15-17 this season.
"I feel pretty good about how we are playing going into the tournament," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "I think we are playing our best softball right now. We are playing very well defensively and we really had some players step up offensively this past weekend at Kentucky."
The Tigers have made a habit of jumping out to an early lead in games this season, out-scoring teams 55-17 in the first inning. The 55 runs in the first inning is a program record, eclipsing the previous best of 52 runs by the 2005 team. Auburn has scored first in 37 of its 54 games this season and is 31-6 in those games. All six of those losses have come against top 25 teams.
Auburn is making its 12th trip to the SEC Tournament. The Tigers have made it to the tournament in 11 of the past 12 seasons and the last four consecutive seasons. Auburn and Florida are meeting for the third consecutive year in the SEC Tournament. The Tigers are 2-3 against the Gators in the SEC Tournament.
Radio coverage of all three games can be found at 91.1 WEGL FM in Auburn and online, along with live stats, at www.auburntigers.com.
2011 Tournament Bracket
All times are Central
Thursday, May 12
Game 1: #3 Tennessee vs. #6 Kentucky (ESPNU) 11:00
Game 2: #2 Florida vs. #7 Auburn (ESPNU) 1:30
Game 3: #4 LSU vs. #5 Georgia (ESPNU) 4 p.m.
Game 4: #1 Alabama vs. #8 Mississippi State (ESPN2) 6:30
Friday, May 13 (Semifinals)
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner (ESPNU) 2 p.m.
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (ESPNU) 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 14
Championship Game (ESPN)