From Auburn Media Relations:
Auburn, Ala. - The Auburn softball team will take on the fifth-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Softball Tournament at 1:30 p.m. CT on Thursday in game televised by ESPNU.
"We have a little bit of momentum going into the tournament," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "Our job is to stay focused. Tennessee has a great offense and a superb pitching staff. We certainly have a huge challenge in front of us, but we have a team that has good senior leadership. Those seniors have been through the battles and know what they have to do."
The SEC Softball Tournament will be held at Rhoads Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Tigers and Lady Vols will play the second of four games in Thursday's opening round. The tournament is single elimination. The winner of the Auburn-Tennessee game will play the winner of the Florida-LSU game at 2 p.m. CT Friday.
The Tigers go into the tournament as the seventh seed after posting a 12-16 record (33-21 overall) in SEC play. Auburn has won seven of its last 10 games going into the tournament. Auburn pitchers have posted a 1.60 ERA, held opponents to a .183 batting average and given up just 21 runs over the past 10 games.
The Lady Vols are the second seed in the tournament after capturing the SEC Eastern Division championship. Tennessee has won 18 consecutive games coming into the tournament and is 45-9 overall and 22-6 in SEC play. The Lady Vols' last loss came on April 4 in a 3-1 defeat against No. 9 Georgia.
"Tennessee has great team speed," Deese said. "They have a terrific one-two-three with (Raven) Chavanne, (Kat) Dotson and (Lauren) Gibson. Those are three of the fastest hitters in the league. They put a lot of pressure on your defense."
Auburn is making its fifth straight appearance in the SEC Tournament and its 13th overall. The Tigers are 1-2 against the Lady Vols in tournament play including last season's 2-1 loss in the semifinal round.
Tickets for the SEC Tournament remain available only in the general admission section of the right field brickyard berm at Rhoades Stadium for the price of $25 for an all-session pass. For more detailed seating/ticketing information, please contact the Alabama Ticket Office at (205) 348-2262 or visit RollTide.com.