One plays infield, the other plays outfield.
One came to Auburn from Miami, while the other is from Canyon County, Calif.
They may appear to have differences between them, but senior shortstop Lauren Guzman and freshman outfielder Branndi Melero have much in common.
Guzman was voted to the All-SEC second team by the league’s coaches, while Melero was named to the conference’s All-Freshman team.
“I am very happy for Lauren and Branndi,” said coach Tina Deese in a press release. “(Guzman) has had a very good season, both defensively and offensively, and I know this means a lot to her.”
Deese also commended Melero for her accomplishments.
“We are all happy for Branndi,” Deese said. “It’s not easy for a freshman to come in and have a lot of success in this league.”
Both Melero and Guzman echoed their coach’s sentiments.
“It’s a huge honor,” Melero said. “It was so exciting, because I was really like ‘I’m coming here, I want to set goals’ and in getting that, it was the most amazing feeling ever.”
For Guzman, the honor represents a culmination of years of hard work.
“It feels good because I worked hard,” Guzman said. “Not only this year, but I worked hard all four years that I was here.”
Other than the awards and accolades, Guzman and Melero have found themselves sharing a strong, common bond.
“Since Branndi first got here, I took her under my wing like a little sister,” Guzman said.
What started as an act of senior leadership developed into a friendship.
“I met Lauren on my official visit out here,” Melero said. “She pretty much took me under her wing and showed me around the school, introduced me to people and we both are Hispanic so we were able to connect very well.”
The teammates’ bond have also found its way on to the field.
“We’ve only played together for a year, but we were able to figure each other out quickly,” Melero said. “We speak Spanish to each other on the field, so it’s easy for us to be like ‘Be here, be here.’”
Even though their first and only regular season as teammates has ended, the pair will make one last run together as Auburn travels to Austin, Texas, for the first round of the NCAA Regionals at 1 p.m. on Friday.
Regardless of how Guzman’s senior postseason turns out, her influence will remain on the Plains for years to come through a young freshman.
“I guess I pretty much follow what she does,” Melero said. “She’s a big role model to me. She’s an amazing athlete, and just seeing her play, in a sense, makes me want to play just the way she plays, just like her.”