A lot of things have been going in the right direction for the No. 3 Lady Volunteers softball team this season, especially at home.
When playing inside the friendly confines of Sherri Parker Lee Stadium they have been nearly unbeatable, posting a 12-1 record.
Not to mention, there has not been a lack in competition considering series wins at home against then No. 1 Alabama and No. 5 Texas A&M.
Once again, there will be no lack of competition with the Auburn Tigers (26-15, 6-9 SEC) coming into town for their three-game SEC showdown with the Lady Vols this weekend.
"This is a tough Auburn team," co-head coach Ralph Weekly said. "They've beat Alabama, Georgia and Florida in their series. It's going to be a great series. I hope we fill up these stands and get some great fan support."
Not only are the Lady Vols (35-6, 9-3 SEC) looking to keep their current 12-game winning streak in the series intact, but they are also hoping to make up some ground on the Florida Gators, who currently have a one-and-a-half game lead in the SEC East over UT.
"I think the kids are playing really well," Weekly said. "They are coming to play every day. They have a plan every time they go to bat, they have a plan when they go out to the pitchers mound, and their playing good defense. We just hope we can continue this type of play when May comes around."
For seniors Lauren Gibson, Melissa Brown, Ivy Renfroe and Kat Dotson, it will be a big weekend series for them. On Saturday, the four Lady Vols will be honored for Senior Day before the 11:30 a.m. first pitch.
Raven Chavanne and Whitney Hammond will have their Senior Day on Saturday, April 27, before the Lady Vols' game against Arkansas.
For Gibson this week couldn't get much better. Not only was she named as a Top 25 Finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of The Year, but she also hit a three-run walk-off homer in the Lady Vols 12-3 win over Tennessee Tech on Wednesday night.
The home run for Gibson gave her the team lead on the season with 10 round-trippers. The All-American is also second on the team in both batting average and RBI's, with a .424 mark at the plate and 38 runs driven in.
Ellen Renfroe (P) and Chavanne (3B) also made the finalist list, making it the first time since 2006 that Tennessee has had three Top 25 finalists.
"It's really nice, but to me it means that I'm helping my team," Gibson said of receiving the honor that was announced by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and USA Softball on Wednesday. "It's nice to be acknowledged, but all I want to do is make the College World Series again."
While it would be easy to get caught up in the distractions that college athletes face, the Lady Vols are keeping full focus on what is ahead of them.
The game against Auburn on Saturday will be televised by CSS.
"It's supposed to be great weather this weekend," Weekly said. "It will be a great weekend of softball. We will have our work cut out for us against Auburn."