Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn softball team rallied from behind twice on Friday night to defeat LSU 5-4 in the SEC opener to please Coach Clint Myers.
“We are a young ball club and the character we showed tonight was awesome,” Myers said. “The ability to go out there and answer every time they scored was huge. That is one of the things we talk to them about all the time. That keeps the momentum on our side.”
Myers said he was also pleased with his starting pitcher, Kaylee Carlson, who improved her record to 12-0. She gave up five hits and three earned runs.
“She did a great job--she pitched the hardest the whole game in the seventh inning,” said Myers, who noted the Auburn crowd and dugout were into the contest. “It was a great ball game to watch, a great ball game to play in.”
Kaylee Carlson pitched seven innings on Friday night.
Sophomore first baseman Kendall Veach drove home two runs for the Tigers, who finished with five hits and reached base six more times on walks.
Veach said she enjoyed the SEC opener. “I think we played good and we came out strong against a great team. We try to take every opportunity and that is what we did tonight.”
Auburn, which is ranked No. 2 nationally, improved to 20-2 with the victory while No. 12 LSU fell to 18-5.
LSU struck early with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. A swinging bunt single by Emily Griggs put a runner on base for Sahvanna Jaquish, who hit a line drive over the right field fence to put the visitors up 2-0.
Auburn got on the scoreboard with three runs in the third inning. A leadoff bunt single by Victoria Draper started the threat. She moved to second base on a groundout prior to a walk to Kasey Cooper.
Haley Fagan then smashed a line drive off the right center field fence for a double and RBI.
A ground ball by Veach to shortstop tied the game at 2-2. Auburn pulled ahead on a line drive single to center field by designated hitter Courtney Shea.
LSU scored a single run to pull ahead 4-3 in the top of fith inning when Fagan misplayed a ground ball with two outs.
In the bottom of the fifth Fagan tied the game by scoring from first base on a line drive double just inside the foul line in left field hit by Veach, who noted she a ball in almost the identical spot in batting practice before the game.
The Tigers pulled ahead on a two-out ground ball to second base that was misplayed allowing Shea to score from third base putting Auburn up 5-4.
After that Carlson was dominant on the mound to close out the victory. “Tomorrow is going to be another battle,” Myers said. “It is probably going to be another one-run game.”
Up Next: The teams are scheduled to play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.