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On Deck for SEC Softball: March 8

A titanic heavyweight clash is going down in Gainesville this weekend.

USA TODAY

In Thursday’s only game of the day, Auburn triumphed 5-0 over visiting Michigan State. The Tigers defeated the Spartans in the first leg of the War Eagle Challenge, which will extend all the way through the weekend. Casey McCrackin went 1-3 with a double, while Kendall Veach and Taylon Snow each homered in the victory. Makayla Martin notched a CGSHO, allowing only five hits with four strikeouts and just one walk and no XBH.

Conference play begins for eight teams on this Friday. The most notable of matchups will be going down in Gainesville. A Top 10 showdown is in the cards, as Florida hosts Tennessee for a weekend series. Both teams are among the elite in the SEC and the nation as well so far, and it’s sure to be a firecracker of an opening series.

Meanwhile, another Top 25 matchup will be taking place in Columbia. South Carolina welcomes Kentucky to the Palmetto State in series featuring the 11th- and 22nd-ranked teams in the country. The Gamecocks and Wildcats have both been showing their strengths so far this season and this, like UF-UT, should be a fascinating matchup between two these two squads.

Mizzou will have their hands full against the only unbeaten team left in the SEC: Alabama. ‘Bama’s been beasting all season, as they carry their 22-0 record into this weekend’s conference opener. Mizzou has been a little sluggish, sitting at 11-7 so far, but they will obviously be hoping to play spoilers and give the Tide their first loss(es) of the year.

Finally, Amanda Sanchez and LSU will begin a three-game series against Riley Sartain and Texas A&M. These two squads are set to face off in College Station for their respective conference openers. Both clubs walk into this series carrying lengthy win streaks, as LSU have won their last four, while A&M has won their last six.

That will not be all of course. Aforementioned Auburn will face Radford and Mercer as part of the aforementioned War Eagle Challenge. The Bulldog Slamboree (unaffiliated with WCW Slamboree, unfortunately) is going down this weekend down in Starkville, meanwhile. Mississippi State will play two on Friday, facing off with Mississippi Valley State and Louisiana Tech.

Lastly, Georgia will be playing in the UGA Classic in Athens. They’ll play host to a garden variety of teams, as they’ll first play two against the likes of Bowling Green and Elon on Friday at 5:30 and 8 p.m. ET. They play those same two teams on Saturday, as well, before facing Western Illinois later on Sunday and Monday.