Carlee Wallace granted release from Auburn softball team

Auburn softball has lost its RBI leader and arguably its best returning position.

Catcher Carlee Wallace, who hit .333 with seven home runs and a team-high 55 hits and 52 RBI while starting all 61 games as a junior last season, requested and was granted her release from the program, she told AL.com.

"She had a great three years here at Auburn," Auburn coach Clint Myers said in a statement. "We hate to see her go, but wish her well. She will always be a Tiger."

A first team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive team honoree last season, Wallace was the only SEC catcher to rank in the top 15 in the conference in batting average, slugging percentage (team-high .599) and on-base percentage (.464). She also led the SEC in doubles (20) and was named the team’s clutch performer of the year due to her 13 game-winning plays.

Wallace’s departure leaves Auburn without its best returning offensive player and a massive void at the top of the lineup, as she hit exclusively in the top three spots in the batting order last season an was expected to do so again in 2018. The Alpine, California native was also an outstanding defensive catcher, throwing out 10 runners on steal attempts.

The Tigers have two returning scholarship catchers in senior Courtney Shea and redshirt-freshman Breanna Gutierrez and add incoming signee Abby Tissier.

Wallace was among the vocal leaders of the team, which now has just three seniors in line to return next year in Shea, Victoria Draper and Kaylee Carlson with the status of infielder Emily Spain still unclear.

AL.com will update this story.

Auburn pitcher Gabe Klobosits (40) pitches in the fifth inning during the loser’s bracket game between Arkansas and Auburn in the third day of the SEC baseball tournament, Thursday, May 25, 2017, at the Hoover Met in Birmingham, Ala. Vasha Hunt/vhunt@al.com ORG XMIT: ALBIN401
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