After starting its season off 3-2 in Clearwater, Florida, Auburn softball prepares for the challenge of this weekend’s Plainsman Invitational. And – according to head coach Mickey Dean – the ceiling for this year’s team has become clearer in the eyes of the coaching staff.
Dean said, if nothing else, the NFCA Leadoff Classic displayed what the team is made of.
“We saw how good we can be and how bad we can be,” Dean said. “When we put together a plan and they execute it, we do a really nice job.”
The third-year coach also added that he feels as though the decision to play in the tournament was beneficial for finding the team’s identity.
“It’s one of those first tournaments where you can go and play in an easy tournament, or you could go play in one that’s going to challenge you a little bit," Dean said. "And I just felt we needed to be challenged a little bit."
When it came to discussing Auburn’s ability to rebound from a five-inning, run-rule loss to Baylor to open the weekend, Dean expressed his satisfaction in his squad’s resilience.
“We turn around and play a team like Notre Dame ... and we played really well," he said. "... It just shows you how explosive we can be.”
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Dean also confirmed that, when it comes to player job security, the battle for playing time is still wide-open as the team moves further into the young season.
The Tigers prepare for a six-game home stand this weekend, beginning Thursday against Kennesaw State — first pitch at 6 p.m. CST — before play in the Plainsman Invitational starts Friday.
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