Auburn softball readies for UCF, Tallahassee Regional

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Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn softball's road to Oklahoma City begins in Tallahassee as the Tigers prepare to face UCF in the opening game of the Tallahassee Regional at JoAnne Graf Field on Friday.
 
First pitch between the Tigers (27-19-1) and UCF (30-23) is set for 1 p.m. CT on ESPNU. Mark Neely and Carol Bruggeman will call the action for every game of the Tallahassee Regional.
 
The winner of Friday's contest advances to face either host and 15th-seeded Florida State (43-14) or Chattanooga (42-14) on Saturday for a date in Sunday's championship game. The Seminoles and Mocs faces off approximately 35 minutes after the conclusion of Auburn's opening contest on Friday. Friday's two losing squads will face off in an elimination game on Saturday.
 
Game times and designations for the remaining games of the Tallahassee Regional will be announced throughout the weekend.
 
"We have some familiar faces in postseason play," said head coach Mickey Dean. "You really have to play it one pitch at a time. If you try to go too fast, it gets away from you. You have to be the team that sticks to your guns and continues to chop wood and carry water to the finish line. It's so easy this late in the season to forget the small things. We're not just preparing to go play in a regional, we're preparing to go compete and win."
 
Auburn is making its 19th NCAA Regional appearance and holds a 23-28 record in the regional round of postseason play. The Tigers are playing in their fourth Tallahassee Regional appearance, three of the four appearances have come in the Mickey Dean era. Auburn is looking to advance into the Super Regional round for the first time since 2017.
 
In an almost identical field as the 2021 Tallahassee Regional, Auburn's last trip to JoAnne Graf Field, Chattanooga is the only new team in the mix but is a familiar opponent for the Tigers. Auburn is a combined 0-5 in regional play versus Florida State and UCF. Auburn has never faced Chattanooga in postseason action.
 
Auburn's pitching staff is led by three-time All-SEC honoree Maddie Penta. The SEC leader in strikeouts, Penta enters the weekend with 230. She is just 20 shy of becoming the first Tiger in program history to record three straight seasons of 250 strikeouts. Penta leads the staff with 14 wins and has tossed seven shutouts this season.
 
Anna Wohlers paces the team with a .302 batting average behind 38 hits, including a team-leading eight doubles. She's added 26 runs scored and 19 RBI. Close behind is Icess Tresvik, who leads the team with 41 hits and holds a .301 batting average.
 
Half of Amelia Lech's hits this season are home runs as she leads the team and ranks 11th in the SEC with 12. She paces the team with 36 RBI. Coming off her extra-inning heroics in the SEC Tournament, KK McCrary has added nine home runs this season and 16 RBI from the leadoff spot.
 
The winner of the Tallahassee Regional will advance to face the winner of the Norman Regional, which features two-seeded Oklahoma, Oregon, Boston University and Cleveland State, in next weekend's Super Regional round.