Carlee Wallace (above) heads to first base following a hit for the Auburn Tigers.
Auburn, Ala.--Throwing a collegiate-high 146 pitches on a cold and blustery Sunday at Jane B. Moore Field, junior right-hander Kaylee Carlson improved her record to 13-0 with her second victory over LSU during the weekend as her team took a 2-1 SEC softball series win vs. the Bayou Bengals.
It wasn’t easy for Carlson or her teammates, who rallied from behind for a 5-4 victory in the second game on Sunday after dropping an 8-0 decision earlier in the day.
“I definitely had a high pitch count, which is something we don’t like to do, but I felt good the whole game,” Carlson said. “I was just trying to focus on the next out instead of worrying how deep I was in pitches.”
No. 2 ranked Auburn improved to 22-3 while 12th-ranked LSU fell to 19-6.
Auburn pitching coach Corey Myers considered going to the bullpen in the later innings. “I basically said there was no way he was pulling me out of that game,” the junior said. “I was fighting for my team and I wanted to go out there and finish it.”
Kaylee Carlson is shown in action on Sunday as she remains undefeated.
Myers said that he told her that he was going to allow her to pitch through the eighth inning and that was it for the day. However, the Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to pull out the victory.
Carlee Wallace started the rally with a one-out single and moved to second base on a walk to Kasey Cooper. A groundout to shortstop by Haley Fagan forced the lead runner at third base for out two.
Sophomore first baseman Kendall Veach, who had given Auburn the early lead with a two-RBI single in the first inning, hit a ground ball to third base. The throw was wide and mishandled by the first baseman. Cooper, who was racing to third base, kept on heading home and scored easily on the play.
“You have got to be prepared for any kind of slip-up,” Head Coach Clint Myers said. “That is one of the things we have actually worked on--don’t take things for granted.”
Myers said the game’s finish reminded him of an SEC rivalry win from another season. “Like we told them, put the pressure on the other team to make plays,” he said. “If you put the ball on the ground they have to field it and throw, they have to catch it and you have a chance to beat it out.
“The throw was down the line and she misses it because the glove makes contact (with Veach running to first base),”?he pointed out. “That is the same thing that happened against Alabama when we beat them several years back.”
Myers said he and the rest of the coaching staff didn’t dwell on Auburn’s poor performance in the first game on Sunday. “Basically, it was just get off your feet and think about what you need to do,”?the head coach said of preparations for the second game. “Then, when we got out here (to the field) we talked about what we need to do. They listened and they responded well.”
Wallace opened game two with a double and Cooper walked with both scoring on a single by Veach.
Auburn held that lead until the fifth inning when LSU scored three runs on four hits. However, the home team responded with two runs to move ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the inning. Wallace singled and Cooper walked, allowing Haley Fagan to send both home on a double.
LSU managed an unearned run in the top of the seventh inning aided by a throwing error from Fagan at shortstop and a fielding error in centerfield by Victoria Draper.
Carlson pitched out the jam, allowing just one run in the inning to set the stage for the walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh inning.
LSU took command early in the first game on Sunday, which was a contest postponed from Saturday night due to rain.
The Bayou Bengals gave pitcher Carley Hoover a two-run lead in the second inning and that is all she needed as she allowed just three hits in the six-inning, 8-0 run-rule victory.
Auburn pitcher Makayla Martin, whose record dropped to 9-3, gave up seven hits and five runs, four which were earned, in four innings.
Relief pitcher Ashlee Swindle gave up a three-run homer to Sahvanna Jaquish to add insult to injury in the sixth inning to set up the early ending.
Auburn finished the game with just three hits--two singles by Morgan Podany and one by Wallace.
The Tigers celebrate their series finale victory by signing "War Eagle."
The Tigers return to action at 6 p.m. CDT on Tuesday night vs. the Tennessee Volunteers in a game at Columbia, Tenn. The contest will not count in the SEC standings.