Branndi Melero leads Auburn trio on All-SEC softball

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Auburn softball players junior Branndi Melero, sophomore Emily Carosone and freshman Kasey Cooper were named to All-SEC teams as the league announced on Tuesday. Melero was named to the All-SEC First Team, while Cooper and Carosone made the All-SEC Second Team. Cooper was also named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.

The all-conference announcements mark the first All-SEC honors under first-year head coach Clint Myers and Melero's selection for the First Team is Auburn's first since Sara Dean, Sara Ghezzi and Paige Jones made the team in 2005.

Being named to her third-straight all-conference team, Melero is in the midst of one of the best seasons by an Auburn Tiger, and is among the leaders in the conference and the nation in a myriad of categories. Going into the SEC Tournament, Melero leads the conference and the nation in RBI (75).

Hitting .420 through 55 games, the California-native has 51 runs scored, 63 hits and 15 home runs. Her average is good for fifth in the conference and her RBI total set a new Auburn single-season record.

Carosone is making all-conference for the second-consecutive year after making the All-Freshman Team last year. The Orlando, Fla., native has been Auburn's quintessential lead-off batter being one of three Tigers with a .400 batting average or higher. With 55 hits and a .586 on-base percentage, Carosone has been tough to keep off base as she has notched a school-record 31 hit by pitches.

The sophomore has also been one of Auburn's best defensively at second base, committing only three errors (.984 fp%) and turning 20 double plays.

As for the freshman phenom, Cooper, her honor marks her as the first Auburn freshman to make both the All-Freshman and All-SEC teams and is leading all SEC freshmen in RBI (70) and home runs (16). Those numbers are currently the best in a season by an Auburn freshman and her home run total is only one away from tying the school's single-season record.

Cooper has played extremely well at the hot corner of third base, committing no errors in conference play and building up a .980 fielding percentage. She is also a top-25 finalist for the NFCA National Freshman of the Year.

A complete listing of the All-SEC teams along with the players of the year can be found here.

Auburn will continue its 2014 season when it faces South Carolina at Beckham Field in Columbia, S.C. for the fourth time in a week on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. CST. The winner will face top-seeded Alabama on Thursday.

All games will be televised on ESPNU, with the championship being carried by ESPN2. Brit Bowen will be on the call and fans can hear the radio call on WEGL 91.1 or on AuburnTigers.com.


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