AUBURN, Neb. – Sunny and 39 degrees. Not a temperature you would normally associate with softball, but that is what Auburn will be dealing with when they open the Class C State Tournament in Hastings on Wednesday morning.
Hastings and the Bill Smith Softball Complex are in a freeze warning until 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Overnight lows are expected to be 30 degrees.
Bulldogs Head Coach Grant Cole says it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, whether it is raining or cold, when they step foot onto the field the effort level must be there.
“We have to be able to control our attitude and our engagement level. If we step out there that first inning and hit them in the mouth, we got to set the tone right away.”
It’ll be the second trip to the state tournament in school history for Auburn (second consecutive). The Bulldogs qualified when they defeated Conestoga, 8-5, in the C1 District Championship on Saturday.
Last season, their first round game with Cozad was delayed because of cold weather. The Bulldogs eventually went 1-2 in the schools first ever state softball tournament.
Nebraska School Activities Association officials have not indicated there will be any delays on Wednesday. #6 Auburn (24-8) plays #3 Bishop Neumann (22-8) in the first round at 9 a.m. Coverage on B103 (103.1 FM, b103.fm and the B103 app) begins at 8:30.
The community of Auburn held a send-off celebration for the players and coaches at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Fans were encouraged to line the town streets to cheer on the team as they headed to Hastings.
Schools official announced Sunday there will be no school Wednesday and Thursday so students, staff and fans can cheer on the state softball team in Hastings. A decision on school for Friday will be made Thursday evening.
State Softball: #3 Bishop Neumann vs. #7 Auburn
When: 9 a.m. Wednesday
Where: Bill Smith Softball Complex, Hastings
Radio: 103.1 FM, b103.fm and the B103 app