Auburn softball: Tigers open up NCAA tournament against UCF

Despite seeing their rival Alabama Crimson Tide win the SEC Championship this past Saturday, Auburn softball has their ticket punched to the NCAA Tournament with a chance to claim their first softball title in school history.

The Tigers are one of many representatives from a deep field of SEC teams that will be hoping to compete in Oklahoma City for the College World Series of softball.

Despite falling in the first round of the SEC tournament to South Carolina, the Tigers–along with every other team in the conference besides the Gamecocks–will live to see another day.

11 other SEC teams will join them:

Auburn softball begins their unlikely quest from a #12 seed that went winless in the conference tournament to a champion when they take on the Knights of UCF on May 21 at 1 p.m. ET in Tallahassee, televised on ESPN2.

UCF lost in the AAC Championship game to Wichita State but have had a strong season, going 37-16-1 overall and 14-6-1 in the conference. Black and Gold banneret dug deeper into the numbers:

The Knights have wins at South Carolina as well as four wins against South Florida. UCF finished second in the 5th-strongest conference in College Softball. Their overall schedule strength is 73rd with their non-conference schedule strength at 45th.

The Tigers had a tough time keeping pace with the superior competition in the SEC, and their record against ranked teams was merely 6-16. That said, they were able to pick up victories over No. 16 LSU, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 18 Missouri, No. 14 Florida State and No. 19 South Carolina to sneak past the Gamecocks and leave SC out as the only SEC team not to qualify for the postseason.

Auburn softball has a chance to right those wrongs this Friday in Tallahassee.