Bryan County High School alumna Tiffany Howard and the Auburn Tigers made it to the Women’s College World Series semifinals before falling to top-seeded Florida on Sunday in Oklahoma City.
The Tigers opened the WCWS with a 6-1 loss May 28. Howard went 1 for
3 with a one-out single in the third inning, but she was out after Emily Carosone grounded into a fielder’s choice, according to AuburnTigers.com.
Auburn beat Tennessee 4-2 Saturday afternoon, but Howard went 0 for 4.
On Saturday night, the Tigers beat UCLA 11-10 in a wild, walk-off, 10-inning game that advanced them to the semifinals. Howard went 1 for 6. In the third inning, she singled after Jenna Abbott received a leadoff walk. Howard advanced to second on a single by Carosone, to third on a bases-loaded walk by Kasey Cooper and then scored on a bases-loaded single by Branndi Melero.
Auburn gave the No.
1 Gators a tough game but fell 3-2 in nine innings Sunday, ending the Tigers’ season. Howard went 2 for 4. She reached on an error with one out in the second. She hit a leadoff single in the sixth but was thrown out when Cooper grounded into a fielder’s choice. Howard also singled with one out in the eighth inning.
Michigan and Florida split the first two games of the WCWS finals. The third and deciding game was scheduled for Wednesday night, after press time.
Coach Clint Myers told AuburnTigers.com that his squad will be back next year.
“It’s not the end of the world, as I explained to the girls, because it’s really the start of something new,” he said. “We told them at the very beginning we’re going to start a legacy at Auburn. Our plan is now an expectation: to be at the College World Series each and every year.”
Howard did add another personal accolade to her softball resume recently by being named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American squad, making the third team as the left fielder.
Howard enjoyed a career-best season as Auburn’s leadoff batter, hitting .413 with 72 runs scored and 86 hits. Until the final week of the regular-season, she had reached base in 52 straight games and had batted near or over .500 nearly all season.
Howard excelled defensively as well, finishing the season without an error while recording six outfield assists. The junior from Pembroke was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team along with earning second-team All-SEC honors.
Howard started all 62 of Auburn’s games as a sophomore, batting in the nine-hole for much of the year. She hit .277 with 40 runs scored, 38 hits and six runs batted in.
All of those numbers jumped exponentially in 2015 as she moved to the leadoff position, batting .413 in 67 games with 72 runs scored, 25 RBI and 86 hits, including seven doubles and six triples. Her 86 hits set a new Auburn single-season record.