A thank you and heartfelt goodbye to the ‘17 Auburn Tigers Softball team

The Auburn Softball ‘17 season came to an end Saturday afternoon after a 5–2 loss to Oklahoma. It was an extremely disappointing end to what was a really fun and I felt good season. The Tigers finished with a 49–12 record.

How will people look back upon this season? I’m not sure honestly. Only time will tell. There were definitely some rough spots throughout the year but I still think the season went well overall. There’ll be a time and place to look back at where things went wrong. But, that’s not now that’ll come later.

If you were to have told me in January I’d attend any softball games this season I’d probably have laughed. But, after yesterday’s game I finished with 19 and drove a total of 3,500 miles from Clearwater. This was an absolute blast and I thank every single player for making it worth every mile traveled. I am extremely thankful and was a privilege I was able to see as many games as I could this season. It was worth every minute. I met some amazing people on this journey from the bus driver, to some of the amazing families. So join me as I take a quick look back at the last few months.

This started back in Tampa I missed most of those games and arrived late but were nice wins. My first full game was at home in Clearwater 6–2 win against Illinois it was nice finally being able to see Makayla pitch. The perfect game by Carlson against Ohio State will be a game I never forget. Was also great seeing Cooper get her 250th career hit. Definitely a fun and historic weekend of games.

It was after the Clearwater games I decided I’d make the trip to Gainesville. Was nice to see a win in Gainesville for the first time in awhile. I enjoyed seeing some hits from Fagan there. I wasn’t a massive fan of how some of the fans there chose to address her. However, without them I may not have supported her as loudly and openly from this series on. I saw a ton of Kendall Veach home runs this year and the one at Florida was one of my favorites. Was also great seeing Carlson pitch extremely well in that game 3.

The SC series was one I added on fairly late but glad I went. Another pretty nice Veach home run. Carlee Wallace, Courtney Shea, Madi Gipson, Victoria Draper, Carmyn Greenwood, Alyssa Rivera and lastly KK Crocker were all great to see as well. Was also fun to see Ashlee Swindle pitch an absolutely fantastic game for the win. Seeing Cooper play period was amazing to me as well. She is an absolute fighter. I was disappointed to miss out on Fagan and Martin this series because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make more games. Didn’t change my opinion on them and still support them fully. Here’s the piece I wrote back then should you have missed it. Still stands true even today as well.

The series in Tuscaloosa was certainly an interesting one. I remember experiencing a freeze out in game 1 but coming up with a pretty sweet 9 inning victory Carlson was absolutely fantastic. Fagan and Veach finished that one off and it was great to watch. Cooper getting hit was a tad scary but luckily it worked out alright. I know it was a loss in game 3 but I had a blast watching Fagan hit 2 HR’s. Was happy to be there to support the team.

Last weekends Regional was great. Loved seeing the team get 40 hits and go 3–0 on the weekend. Loved being able to see pretty much everyone hit. Was nice seeing Jenna Abbot, Sydne Waldrop and Justus Perry play was nice to see as well. Happy to be there for what we now know was Cooper and Fagan’s last home runs. This was the first time I had been to Jane B. Moore field. Definitely didn’t disappoint. I also met Kevin and Nancy Fagan that was pretty sweet. Both are amazingly nice people, just like the rest of the families on the team.

Which brings us to this past weekend and more importantly yesterday. It’s sad the season came to a close at home. I’m happy I was able to see the seniors play one last time. Especially my favorites Cooper and Fagan. Seeing Casey McCrackin hit yet another HR was fun. It was nice to see Cooper get an RBI double off a pitcher that had been extremely good against her the last while.

Obviously there was a ton of other great moments as well throughout the year. Completing a road sweep against Georgia for the first time ever. Cooper hitting a HR to take over the SEC RBI record. The Carlee Wallace grand slam against Mississippi State was amazing to cap off a great comeback. I had fun with it by using the titanic music on the replay. The Alyssa Rivera and Justus Perry pregame stuff to me was fantastic and fun to see.

I’m disappointed this team wasn’t able to make it to OKC. I still feel this is a good team and the future looks bright for this team. Wish these seniors could’ve had another shot at a championship but that’s sports.

There is no doubt in my mind you guys gave it all you had. I thank every single one of you for everything this season. I’m sure the rest of the fan base feels the same way. I’m disappointed I missed out on the banquet a few weeks ago, But did try to contribute the best I could. I appreciated the note from Coach Myers and every single player makes me happy and proud to support this team.

It’s tough seeing all the goodbye posts and messages from the players. I think the picture with Alyssa and Haley pictured below is great. I saw this while I was there and it was sad but very nice tough to watch. Everyone posted very nice heartfelt goodbyes.

Photo Credit : Dakota Sumpter

To all those returning next season, hard to tell until the schedule is released but hope to see some games next year and hopefully a national championship. This is still a great team and I think the future will be great.

To Sydne, Jenna, Whitney, Madi, Kasey and Haley thank you for everything you’ve done for the program. The team wouldn’t be where it is today without all of you. You put Auburn on the map it’s not just Alabama anymore now people think of Auburn. All this class did was win. This chapter has reached its completion it happens to everyone. We need to accept it, embrace it and cherish it and I wonder if you all have yet. I wish you all nothing but the best going forward. You all definitely have earned it and deserve it.

In closing this was a fun few months because of everyone of you. I’m a hockey guy so I missed my NY Rangers playoff game in 8 years during the Alabama game. So congrats you all finally ended that streak and it was a blast.

To my personal favorites Kasey and Haley. Kasey you are and always will be the 🐐. You are an even better person while I wish you could’ve won a championship I don’t think the fact you didn’t should change anyone’s minds on you. I loved hearing the crowd yell COOOOP for you was amazing to see and hear. I look forward to seeing you in a little over a month in Tuscaloosa and Auburn for Team USA. It’s been a pleasure to see you play and support you. Haley you are my favorite (all you have to do is check Twitter it’s fairly obvious) it was a blast seeing you play. While you grab a bit more “criticism” than Cooper it was fun supporting you as well. I’ll never fully comprehend the dislike for you but I’ll continue to support you. You are incredibly nice and I wish you nothing but the best you deserve it. You left this program better than you found it. There won’t be another Kasey Cooper or Haley Fagan. You guys made the softball world and therefore our world better by being in it. The rest of the world awaits you…