Diamond Dolls are back again, supporting baseball

Seventh-inning stretches have been lovelier since the return of the Diamond Dolls last season.

This year, the group is back and bigger than ever. The Dolls went from 40 girls last season to 60 this season.

Junior Lauren Mills, returning Doll and current president of the organization, said the newcomers this year seem excited and enthusiastic to help out.

Deciding who will be the faces to greet baseball fans wasn't an easy task, but Mills said there were clear criteria for tryouts.

"We need girls who are committed to the baseball program and to making it as big of a sport as football is," Mills said.

The Dolls worked baseball's first event of the year, the sixth annual Home Run Derby Friday, and the Dolls continue to work and devote time to the team throughout the regular season.

Junior Leslie Jennings, also a returning Doll, added that a good candidate is someone who isn't afraid to stand up and get the crowd going and, someone who is knowledgeable about the sport.

In their first year back after a four-year hiatus, the girls kept themselves busy last season.

For every home series, at least 20 girls greeted baseball fans with programs, answered questions and smiles.

They also decorated the locker room with posters and streamers to keep the boys in good spirits.

The group also organized charity work in the name of baseball head coach John Pawlowski's daughter, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

"We decided that would be a good way to give money to the hospital here for its cancer research center," Mills said.

To be a part of this group, one must go through two rounds of interviews, the first focusing on baseball knowledge and, for those receiving a call-back, the second gauging personality.

Callouts are on the baseball field, and the 60 that made the group pay $75 in dues, which covers everything except uniforms.

Last year, the girls had polos made-up, but Jennings said the group is working with Under Armour this year and will have a couple of outfits made.

In her second year with the Diamond Dolls, senior Britney Morgan said another big role the Diamond Dolls play is brainstorming with the marketing team for give aways to draw fans into the stadium.

Of course, it isn't all work and no play for the girls. Most of them are passionate about being a part of something on campus.

"I've been a huge baseball fan my whole life and I love Auburn, so it's combining two things I love," Jennings said.

Morgan and Mills both agreed.

"Most college student live for the Saturday football games, but I'm weird and live for the Friday, Saturday, Sunday games in the spring," Mills said.

Fans attending Samford Stadium for a game will see the Diamond Dolls in the Auburn dugout during the seventh-inning stretch leading the crowd in "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

Mills said the Dolls look forward to helping cheer the team on to a winning season and hopefully the College World Series.

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