Yesterday went pretty well, all things considered, for the Auburn Tigers who opened up play for the SEC in softball. The Tigers went 1-1 in their first two games in the 2017 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge as they gained revenge on the Oklahoma Sooners but fell to the Washington Huskies. OU, of course, defeated Auburn in last year’s WCWS while the Huskies and Tigers didn’t have any familiarity from a year ago.
Washington had been eliminated by the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Tuscaloosa Super Regional a year ago but gave the Tigers fits on Thursday night, holding them to four hits while winning 2-1. It was perhaps especially grueling for Auburn due to the fact that Washington had 14 hits scattered across seven innings but merely plated home two runs. That’s the way it goes sometimes though.
Softball Schedule - February 10
|Mizzou vs. James Madison||10 a.m.|
|Kentucky vs. Florida A&M||10 a.m.|
|Mizzou vs. Charleston Southern||Noon|
|Tennessee vs. Tennessee Tech||Noon|
|Kentucky vs. Pittsburgh||12:30|
|Alabama vs. Towson||12:30|
|Tennessee vs. Middle Tennessee||2 p.m.|
|Georgia vs. Winthrop||3 p.m.||SEC Network+|
|South Carolina vs. Ohio||3 p.m.||SEC Network+|
|Auburn vs. Nebraska||3 p.m.|
|Alabama vs. Coastal Carolina||3 p.m.||GoGCUSports.com|
|Mississippi State vs. Georgia State||4 p.m.||SEC Network+|
|Florida vs. Illinois State||4:15 p.m.|
|Ole Miss vs. Loyola Marymount||4:30 p.m.||FloSoftball.com|
|LSU vs. Oklahoma State||5 p.m.||SEC Network+|
|Georgia vs. Syracuse||5:30 p.m.||SEC Network+|
|South Carolina vs. Presbyterian||5:30 p.m.||SEC Network+|
|Texas A&M vs. Lamar||6:15 p.m.||SEC Network+|
|Mississippi State vs. Stephen F. Austin||6:30 p.m.||SEC Network+|
|LSU vs. Penn State||7:30 p.m.||SEC Network+|
|Ole Miss vs. Cal State Fullerton||9:30 p.m.||FloSoftball.com|
As we can see from the above table, 12 (!) teams are in action on this Friday with 11 seeing the diamond for the first time this year.
Among the matchups, only one is a showdown between two ranked teams. Incidentally, it’s the first of the day as No. 14 James Madison faces off with the No. 17-ranked Missouri Tigers. It was a pretty tumultuous offseason for Mizzou but they’re back and primed to be a contender again despite losing Paige Lowary via transfer to Oklahoma.
Mizzou is one of nine ranked teams from the conference who will be in action. No. 2 Auburn of course will continue their stay in the aforementioned Puerto Vallarta College Challenge as they take on Nebraska. Meanwhile, No. 4 Florida, No. 4 LSU (they were tied!) and No. 7 Alabama are the other Top 10 teams who will see the field Friday with the Tigers facing the stiffest test: Oklahoma State who ranked 27th in the USA TODAY/NFCA Coaches Poll.
No. 12 Georgia faces Syracuse in a matchup of D1 programs after playing Winthrop earlier in the day while No. 15 Tennessee squares off with two in-state mid-majors in Tennessee Tech and Middle Tennessee. No. 19 Texas A&M meanwhile will face Lamar later on in the day and No. 20 Kentucky, the final ranked team from the SEC, has two games against Florida A&M and Pitt.
Ole Miss-Cal State Fullerton is intriguing given that the two teams both received votes in the aforementioned USA TODAY poll, though not quite enough to get themselves in the Top 25. South Carolina, who fell four spots short of the 25th spot, will face Ohio and Presbyterian in their first two games of the year, and last call is for Mississippi State who takes on Georgia State and Stephen F. Austin.
The non-SEC Network+ games featured are all on subscription sites, so make that of what you will. If it’s not listed, that no means no viewing due to broadcast rules for some tourneys (who are only showing the hosting team and their matchups).