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Highlights so far

At the end of the first inning AU 6 North West Florida State 0

Carlson on the Mound

Rivera had a 3 run double

Top of the second -

Carlson gives up a double

Mcraken (3rd base) with a beautiful diving catch 

 

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2 hours ago, AlaskanFAN said:

Rivera with a two run jack over the right field wall with plenty of room to spare. Now 8-0 Auburn

I think she will be a significant force at the plate this year. 

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Popped back in for the 2nd game. Up 3-0 in bottom of the 6th, playing Enterprise State Community College .

I have seen Ashley Swindel pitch one inning and a #4, but I can't find a current roster  

Shea is catching

Veech at 1st, Mcrakin at SS

Interesting that after the Tigers get out of an inning ALL pitchers and catchers meet with the HC and ALL infields meet with one of the assistant coaches.

Also when the tigers take the field all non starters go to the 3rd base line outfield and play catch. 

Edited by AlaskanFAN
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Thanks for the info.  Enterprise must have a good pitcher.  There is no #4 on our roster.  Maybe one of the girls changed and it hasn't been reflected on the webpage yet.

Here's a link to the article on the team webpage.  http://www.auburntigers.com/sports/w-softbl/recaps/101317aaa.html

Says pitchers averaged over a strikeout per inning.  Offense led by top of the order:  Taylon Snow, Draper, Rivera, Veach.   both games won by shutout.  Don't think they keep stats on these games.

Edited by OlderWhiskey
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#4 was Bilodeau, previously listed as # 22. 

Game one with Northwest Fla. State CC Carlson got the start and threw well.  She did give up a double but otherwise overpowered the opposition.  Harris pitched in 5th I believe and she continues to impress me.  I would say she is our # 3 pitcher at this point and a very good one at that.  She is a LHP.  Throws a very nice inside breaking ball to RH batters. I was a bit surprised to see Veach start at catcher since she had rarely been at catcher at 2 practices I attended. (Yes I have heard the rumors)  In the first game, Northwest at times seemed unsure about several of their infield throws and it resulted in AU runs or base runners advancing.  They changed out at least 3 pitchers in the first inning.  I believe they were trying to “save” their better pitcher for later in the game.  In the 2nd game with Enterprise, their pitcher seemed to put a lot of spin on the ball and AU hit a lot of pop ups and feeble ground balls.  She threw in the mid 50’s as I recall but had good placement and spin.

NOTES;  Tannon Snow was used as DP and did not play defense. Her sister, Taylon continues to impress both at the plate and in the field.  Casey McCrackin played a lot at 3rd and made a sensational  horizontal diving catch on a line drive hit to her left.  She later played at SS for about 2 or 3 innings but Taylon got the vast amount of work there. 

Makayla Martin looked a tad more trim/fit.  Throwing her fast ball at 64-67 mph.  The change up is killer. Also a couple of at bats.  Get the impression she is having fun.   Swindle also appeared more fit.  Throwing at 63 mph with also good change up.  Bilodeau can throw at 64 mph.  A few pitches get away from her but control was better than what I saw at practice last week.  My wife and I both get the impressing she is “pressing”at times.  Greenwood appeared to have reinjured her right shoulder during a foul ball she hit against Enterprise.  She had been wearing some sort of strap support at practice.  Appeared to want to stay in the game but trainer and coach immediately pulled her.  KK Crocker did not dress for game.  She was in shorts and no apparent injury or limp.  Schiele still in leg brace.  Makenna Dowell continues to look good a 2nd base.  She ran down one of those blooper fly balls down first base line that I would have bet my box of pop corn was going to fall in for a hit.  Very good play.  She also has good skills with the bat. Poor outfielders tend to get left out of the conversation.  Of course Rivera had a HR and a double off center field fence.  Draper still impressive with bunt and speed on base path.  I also notice that Rivera  also has a lot of speed running bases.  Bree Fornis is progressing nicely.  The rest is a blur after the 2 1/2 hour drive home.  War Eagle.  

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On 10/14/2017 at 8:38 AM, slot canyon said:

Greenwood appeared to have reinjured her right shoulder during a foul ball she hit against Enterprise.  She had been wearing some sort of strap support at practice.  Appeared to want to stay in the game but trainer and coach immediately pulled her.  KK Crocker did not dress for game.  She was in shorts and no apparent injury or limp.  Schiele still in leg brace.    

Appears Greenwood is done for fall (shoulder).  Crocker may be done for fall (jaw). Schiele is on schedule (knee). Tannon is still limited and not cleared 100% yet.  Harris is being treated and monitored (back).  Hoping the rest stay healthy through the rest of fall.

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Thanks for that 4WDE.  Not surprised about Greenwooe, Tannon Snow or Schiele.  KK caught me off guard.   I know Harris had issues with back problems in high school and at one point was out for a couple of weeks.  There is an interesting story about her in the Chicago Tribune from 06/21/2017 titled "Pioneer Press Softball Player of the Year: PORFT's Chardonnay Harris".  Sorry I cannot provide link but  Google if interested.  She was adopted by her Aunt and Uncle at very young age after moms death.  Father was not part of her life.  Inspirational story.

 

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On 10/16/2017 at 11:54 PM, 4WDE said:

Appears Greenwood is done for fall (shoulder).  Crocker may be done for fall (jaw). Schiele is on schedule (knee). Tannon is still limited and not cleared 100% yet.  Harris is being treated and monitored (back).  Hoping the rest stay healthy through the rest of fall.

So for Greenwood and Crocker, done for "fall" implies should be back for spring...is that the way you understand it at this time 4WDE?  Or is this possible not available for spring either?

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11 hours ago, GBAU83 said:

So for Greenwood and Crocker, done for "fall" implies should be back for spring...is that the way you understand it at this time 4WDE?  Or is this possible not available for spring either?

Crocker has better news and should be back this weekend in some form.  Greenwood is done for fall, but I don't think they know yet for spring. If it is surgery, could depend on recovery time.

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Some interesting tidbits heard from a staffer last week before the first games...what I can remember

Veach, way athletic
Draper, could break single season SB record
Taylon, sky is the limit
Crocker/Greenwood, huge improvement on film and field from freshman year
Harris, could dominate, but probably not this year
Tannon, has to get healthy to be on the field
Martin, back in command of her pitches
Rivera, needs to harness her strengths
Carlson, better than advertised

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On 10/17/2017 at 8:01 AM, slot canyon said:

Thanks for that 4WDE.  Not surprised about Greenwooe, Tannon Snow or Schiele.  KK caught me off guard.   I know Harris had issues with back problems in high school and at one point was out for a couple of weeks.  There is an interesting story about her in the Chicago Tribune from 06/21/2017 titled "Pioneer Press Softball Player of the Year: PORFT's Chardonnay Harris".  Sorry I cannot provide link but  Google if interested.  She was adopted by her Aunt and Uncle at very young age after moms death.  Father was not part of her life.  Inspirational story.

 

Quote

On the surface, Oak Park-River Forest senior pitcher Chardonnay Harris' silver necklace is merely a simple gesture of love from a family member.

Two years ago, her aunt, Leah Leark, wanted to give Harris a personal and lasting memory of her mother, Lauren McDonald, for her 16th birthday.

McDonald died of skin cancer when Harris, her only child, was 5 years old. Harris has been raised by Leark and her husband, Bill Leark, for the last 13 years.

Leah Leark discovered an old letter written by her sister that contained the word "Chardonnay," so she brought the letter into a store to have the handwritten word inscribed as a necklace.

"She's been wearing it all the time lately after not wearing it for awhile," Leah Leark said.

For Harris, the necklace is an ideal way to keep the memory of her mother fresh in her mind — and, indirectly, a way to have her mother with her through every step of her life.

McDonald died when she was 29 years old, in January 2005, four months after being diagnosed with skin cancer for the second time. She first had chemotherapy and surgery for the cancer when Harris was 1.

"I'm not going to say I don't think about her all the time, but I have a life to live and I take pride in everything I do," Harris said of her mother. "Without her passing, I would not be the player I am today. I take each day as it comes and am grateful, because that's what she would want."

Harris, an Auburn recruit, breezed through this season with a dominance rarely seen at the high school level. She combined excellence in the pitcher's circle with a potent bat to spearhead the Huskies' run to a second straight Class 4A state championship. OPRF also finished third at state her sophomore year.

Harris put up historic numbers in the circle, finishing with a 19-0 record while striking out 233 batters, allowing 34 hits and walking only 15 in 118 2/3 innings for a 0.29 ERA. She batted .524 with 51 RBIs and closed out her prolific prep career by tossing two complete games at state, including a Class 4A state-final record 16 strikeouts in a one-hitter as the Huskies won the title.

The Huskies (37-1) finished the season ranked No. 3 in the nation in the final USA Today high school softball rankings. Harris also was the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year and was a First-Team All-USA pick by USA Today.

For her efforts, Harris was named the Pioneer Press All-Area Softball Player of the Year for the second year in a row.

"It was amazing to win (state) again," Harris said. "I've been working so hard since my freshman year, so to be here three years in a row (at state) was amazing. I remembered last year's game and wanted to break the (strikeout) record. I knew that was a big accomplishment."

Despite keeping a focused and stoic expression while mowing down hitters in the two state games, Harris' success on the field came only after a challenging upbringing. Harris' biological father was present at her birth, Leah Leark said, but has not been a part of her life. According to the Leark family, he is now in federal prison.

Harris admitted she did not fully understand the enormity of her mother's death at such a young age. She still carries pictures of them together, sometimes posting them on special days on social media.

She considers Leah and Bill Leark — biologically, her aunt and uncle — to be her parents.

Harris said Leah Leark was a constant presence from her earliest memories, so moving in with the Learks wasn't an especially huge adjustment after her mother's death.

"My mother was really caring and loving," Harris said. "I was young when she (died). My aunt and her husband were around a lot, so I wasn't a stranger to either of them. It felt familiar. It felt right."

Leah and Bill Leark, though, had to adjust to raising a young child after getting married just five weeks before McDonald's death. Leah Leark said Bill's quick acceptance of "Chardy" made a tough time much easier, though Harris did have a new family dynamic.

"The day I met my husband, Chardy was with me," Leah Leark recalled. "He thought she was mine that day. She spent so much time with me during her childhood. My sister worked two jobs, was a single mom. Chardy was always with us.

"I was the fun aunt; he was the fun uncle. Transitioning to parents was difficult. It was no more fun and games. It was rules and restrictions and schools and stuff. That was difficult and different."

Harris, a fun-loving and caring teammate, credited Bill Leark for starting her journey in softball. Bill Leark said his love of sports helped steer Harris toward softball and basketball. He coached her for nearly a decade. The Learks also have two young boys.

"It was a no-brainer for me to indulge my time playing sports with all my kids," he said. "I wasn't really versed in tea parties or Barbie dolls. I went with what I knew.

"With Chardonnay, it started with rolling the ball, then throwing it back. Every day after school, she wanted to play catch, so we played catch. She definitely changed my life for the better, immediately.

"As time went on, she showed a ton of promise in softball. We all make choices. (Her biological father) made his. I was fortunate to be there to pick up the slack. He wasn't able to do so."

Harris said she now understands the important role the Learks played in raising her.

"They are my parents," Harris said. "They took in a 5-year-old and had no experience. That's a tough thing to do, especially for a young girl. Without them, I would not be successful. I give a lot of credit to Bill. Without him, this (softball success) would not be possible."

OPRF softball coach Mel Kolbusz said Harris is a model student-athlete who overcame a tough childhood and pushed herself to be an elite athlete through the aid of proper guidance, support and love.

"Chardonnay just has a toughness, is so composed and sure of herself that she knows through all of her hard work that she can pull through and persevere no matter the circumstances," Kolbusz said.

Leah Leark said Harris shares some characteristics with McDonald, from her 5-foot-11 frame to her quirky sense of humor. In a twist of fate, Leah Leark said Harris might never have played softball if McDonald were still alive. McDonald always had a busy work schedule and was not a fan of sports.

As Harris transitions from OPRF to Auburn, Leah Leark said she remains astounded by Harris' success.

"I see many things in Chardonnay that remind me of my sister, usually when she's around her really close group of friends," Leah Leark said. "She's goofy, and (has a) silly sense of humor that she gets from Lauren.

"We were never really prepared for her. It's amazing to see how far she's come. She's always been so fun to watch."

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13 hours ago, 4WDE said:

Some interesting tidbits heard from a staffer last week before the first games...what I can remember

Veach, way athletic
Draper, could break single season SB record
Taylon, sky is the limit
Crocker/Greenwood, huge improvement on film and field from freshman year
Harris, could dominate, but probably not this year
Tannon, has to get healthy to be on the field
Martin, back in command of her pitches
Rivera, needs to harness her strengths
Carlson, better than advertised

Interesting.  Everything I had seen earlier indicated that Tannon Snow was now completely cleared and healthy.  Appatently that is not the case.

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Come to think of it, did we ever hear anything from the school about Tannon?  Or was it just her Facebook page or Twitter account?

The comment about Draper is intriguing.  Never understood why we didn't run more with her.

Getting stoked for the season already.  Wonder if we will reschedule the game against UT we cancelled last year?

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It sounds like Dean is aggressive in every phase of the game.  He puts the pressure on the other team.  Stolen bases, strikeout pitching, power hitting, etc.  I love seeing a killer instinct in a team.  If only it would transcend to all sports at Auburn.

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We won two more games today against Chipola and Wallace St - Hanceville. Very brief article may be found at http://www.auburntigers.com/sports/w-softbl/recaps/102017aaa.html

Carlson, Martin, and Harris combined for a no-hitter in the first game.  Tannon Snow and Perry had back-to-back homers at some point.  Defense turned a couple of DPs.

Coach Dean bragged on the pitching, defense, and baserunning, but notably not on the hitting.

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Oct. 20, 2017

 

AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn softball team earned a pair of wins over Chipola CC and Wallace State CC-Hanceville to continue its strong fall Friday night at Jane B. Moore Field.

”I thought we pitched really well,” head coach Mickey Dean said. “We played good defense and turned a couple of double plays. I thought we also ran the bases pretty well.

Kaylee Carlson, Chardonnay Harris and Makayla Martin turned in an impressive performance in the circle, combining for a no-hitter in the first game.

Justus Perry and Tannon Snow launched back-to-back homers to guide the Tigers to victory in the nightcap of the twin bill.

Auburn returns to the diamond Saturday afternoon for a doubleheader against Valdosta State at 3 p.m. CT and Snead State at 5:30 p.m. CT at Jane B. Moore Field. Admission to both games is free.

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Maybe this topic should be re-tagged as "Fall Ball?  Some of what I saw at the game on Friday.  We defeated Chipola  1 - 0.  Seemed we could not get solid hits off their pitcher.  Shea was catcher for game with Veach at 1st.  McCrackin started at 3rd.    Dowell played 2nd and surprisingly, KK Crocker started in LF (wore protective mask throughout).  Carlson and Martin both pitched 3 innings and Perry finished the last inning.  I believe we actually got our run on a throwing error and Chipola  had 3 errors total.  Interesting change in batting order had Draper in 9 hole with Taylon Snow, Crocker and Rivera at front end .

In second game against Wallace State Harris got the start, Veach catcher and Perry at 1st, Crocker 2nd, McCrackin SS, Nutt 3rd, Podany LF, Fornis CF and Olszewski RF(she later moved to LF and Maresette took up RF) .  In this game Harris had a couple of pitches where she seemed to have problems with her release point or else the ball slipped out of her hand.  On the second occasion it hit her in the foot and she left he game.  Swindle entered and finished off the last batter.  Harris gave up a major HR shot to the Wallace state 1st baseman. I believe the final score was AU 5 WS 2 or 3.  Swindle pitched well and Bilodeau also.   As mentioned back to back HR's by Tannon and Justus.  KK had a double and Gutierrez also. Bree Fornis nice catch on long fly right at the wall.   Continued aggressive base running in terms of steals.  

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