Early season tournament play has reached its conclusion, and, on Friday evening, the Auburn softball team will take the field in Gainesville, Florida, to begin SEC play.
And head coach Mickey Dean and his squad said the Tigers’ approach to this weekend will not differ from any others to this point.
The skipper claims that, if his team wants to be successful, this has to be the group mentality for every contest for the remainder of the year: “For us, every game is a conference game. It’s got to be. With our youth, we can’t take any game lightly.”
Despite his confidence in the Tigers’ mental preparation, Dean also said that all assumptions that his squad is ready for SEC play – based upon the caliber of teams that the Tigers have played thus far – have yet to be supported, and only time will tell.
When asked about how much help the early season challenges will provide, the third-year head coach’s answer was simple.
“We’re going to find out,” Dean said. “I don’t think we’re going to be scared of anybody, and that was the intention. We’re going to go play softball, and we’re going to play hard.”
Freshman utility player Carlee McCondichie added that, despite her team’s consistent approach to each game, it is hard to discount the drastic increase in competition.
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“SEC play is a lot different than regular tournament play,” Koepke said. “It’s a lot more competitive.”
Regardless of the outcome of this weekend’s series, it is clear that Dean’s goal for this season remains constant: get better every game.
“We can’t get so much focused on our opponent,” Dean said. “We need to focus on ourselves.”
Auburn will open its SEC season on Friday, March 6 at Florida. First pitch will be at 5 p.m. EST on SEC Network+.
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