Auburn softball claims conference title

Photos by Ashley Akers
Auburn High School picked up Friday’s Conference 45 championship with a 4-1 win over Parry McCluer.

Coach David Hurd will be the first to admit this season he has a very young Auburn softball team, but that didn’t stop them from dominating teams this season enroute to Friday’s 4-1 win over Parry McCluer in the Conference 45 title game.

“The team is very young (10 freshmen and sophomores) and at times we have looked a little young but inspite of the youth they are very mature players. We have scored runs in gobs this year but have been humbled a couple of times by top notch pitchers.  This team has found their focus in their failures and worked hard to get better. We are seeing the benefits of that attitude,” he said after the win.

Friday’s win didn’t come without some doubt. Auburn fell behind 1-0 and the bats were silent for most of the contest.

“You could feel the air come out of the place after they went up 1 to 0 with a homer in the sixth and a 2-time state champion pitcher in the circle. They (Auburn) never wavered or wilted and came back for a big seventh inning,” Hurd said.

Lacey Bishop started the comeback with a two-run single and then McKenzie Lawrence connected on a two-run homer in the seventh inning.

“Friday versus Parry McCluer was a great example of kids learning as the game wears on and being able to use information they gained early to strike late,” Hurd said.

From the mound, Skyler Dehart got the win in a complete game with five strikeouts.

Auburn is now 18-4 and moves in this week’s regional play as the top seed.

Hurd believes this team can win a state championship.

“We have all of the necessary elements to win, good pitching, good defense, offensive clout and a little team speed. The team also has a will to win that will serve us well. That said the road in 1A is far tougher than it has been and far tougher than the road in 2A. The smaller schools are very well equipped in softball this year.,” the coach concluded.