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Cooper with one goal

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If you've followed Auburn softball at all you know about the accomplishments of Kasey Cooper on and off the field.   Check out this article below.



One goal left in Cooper's remarkable Auburn journey

For Auburn's Kasey Cooper, a national championship is the mission


Kasey Cooper will be the most accomplished softball player in Auburn history. (Photo: 247Sports)

AUBURN, Ala. - As an athlete and as a student, it’s difficult to imagine anyone having a better college experience than senior Auburn softball third baseman Kasey Cooper. And to be sure, she’s earned every bit of it.

Cooper is a three-time All-American. She has been the ESPNW national Player of the Year and SEC Player of the Year. She is a two-time SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year winner. She has a 3.98 grade point average in mechanical engineering and is a two-time Academic All-American. She has played for the U.S. National Team and will again. That’s just a sampling of what Cooper has done in her time at Auburn.

Yes, Cooper has earned almost everything anyone could hope to earn. She holds the SEC career record for RBIs and a bushel of Auburn records. She’s played in the Women’s College World Series twice and played in the national championship game. She will finish her career as the most accomplished softball player in Auburn history.

But Cooper hasn’t won a national championship. That will be her mission as Auburn goes forward the SEC Tournament, a regional and potentially a super regional. And she is convinced it can happen.

This has been a different kind of season for Cooper and her teammates. Statistically, it hasn’t been as productive for Cooper as the previous three. She’s hitting .301 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs. She was a second-team All-SEC selection on Tuesday. There have been distractions – the abrupt resignation of associate head coach Corey Myers and the arrest and suspension of three teammates.

Yet, the Tigers are 45-9 overall and 17-7 in the SEC. They are virtually assured of not having to leave home to earn a trip to Oklahoma City, where national championships are won.

Through it all, Cooper says, the bond with her teammates has grown stronger.

“We’re peaking at the right time,” Cooper said Tuesday. “We have a very strong chemistry. It took something to make it happen, to make this glue what it is. We’re starting to peak. We’re starting to find confidence. We’re starting to find trust.”

Auburn coach Clint Myers said he was never troubled that Cooper’s numbers on the field weren’t what they had been the previous three seasons.

“There is nothing about Cooper that is ever disappointing,” Myers said. “Now she’s chasing the one thing she hasn’t been able to accomplish yet, and that’s win the national championship. You can’t ask for more.”

 Even before this seasons started, Cooper had to deal with something she’d not experienced previously at Auburn. She made a B. It happened last fall in a heat transfer class.

“That was probably the hardest semester I’ve ever had,” Cooper said. “In engineering, it’s known as the semester from hell, junior fall. … And then I was gone a couple weeks with USA (Softball) and so we were in Japan — 12-hour time difference - trying to learn.”

Going into finals, Cooper had B’s in all her classes. She got A’s in all but one.

(Photo: Auburn University)

“I told my parents that I did the best I could do,” Cooper said. “It was a solid 85. I was pretty proud of that. I earned that grade. If I could have done something better, I would have. I’m pretty proud. This semester, I did the same thing. I started studying earlier than I usually do. I didn’t have to worry about finals going into it. I had to take five finals before we left on Thursday morning (for Tuscaloosa). I had five finals between Monday and Wednesday. I pulled pretty good on those. I got all A’s.”

The demands on all college athletes are immense. To succeed at the highest level athletically and academically it takes a remarkable amount of stamina, determination and dedication. And Cooper has taken it to even another level.


Sleep is optional for Cooper most of the year. There is studying to be done, softball to be played. And to slack off on either is not part of her makeup.

“To see how much people appreciate that I work on the field and I work harder off the field, just to see it rewarded is really sweet,” Cooper said.

It is at this time of year that she can turn her focus solely to the game she loves and, this year, pursuing an elusive national championship.

“I think I’ve slept more in three days than I have all year,” Cooper said. “It’s fun just to focus on softball for once. We have two weeks, three weeks where we can just have fun and play softball. This is the funnest moment for me. We get to wake up and we get to work out and then we take a break and then we come out to practice. We can finally be 100 percent on softball.”

 The Tigers, the No. 2 seed, open play in the SEC Tournament on Thursday in Knoxville against the winner of Wednesday’s 4 p.m. game between No. 7 seed Kentucky and No. 10 seed South Carolina. They will try to make history by winning a third consecutive tournament championship.

When that’s over, Cooper will do all she can to take the final step that eluded her last season.

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