This time they handled the delay very well, unlike Thursday night when the Tigers dropped their opening round game to tournament host Alabama following a near four-hour delay. The Tigers were able to take a 2-0 victory over the second-ranked LSU Tigers to move into Sunday play in the SEC Women's Softball Tournament for the first time in school history.
The Tigers got another stellar performance from Kristen Keyes, who one-hit the Bayou Bengals and picked up her second win of the year over them. The performance was also the senior's second one-hitter of the tournament.
In the field and at the plate, Ashley Griffin was the story of the night for the Tigers. The Pace, Fla., native gobbled up every ball that came at her in the field, many of them in stellar fashion, and drove in the Tigers' only two runs of the night in the first inning with a two-out double.
The game that was scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. first pitch did not get under way until 10:18 p.m. due to three weather delays during the Georgia-Tennessee game that also went 10 innings before the Bulldogs were able to advance to Sunday's championship game with a walk-off grand slam.
Auburn struck quickly against the number one seed on Saturday. Shannon Anderson legged out an infield single to get things started and Sara Dean then got her first hit of the SEC Tournament to put runners on first and second with only one out. The duo then pulled off a double steal to put themselves on second and third, but Martha Phillips popped out in the infield for the second out of the inning.
That brought up Miss Clutch. Griffin, who was moved down to fifth in the line-up from the leadoff spot earlier in the season, had already come up with game winning hits against Alabama and LSU earlier in the season and with two outs and runners on second and third, she came through again with a two-RBI double on a 1-2 pitch to give the Tigers the 2-0 lead. However, in trying to stretch the double into a triple Griffin was thrown out at third to end the inning.
LSU threatened strongly in the bottom half of the fifth inning by loading the bases with no outs, but Keyes worked her way out of the jam by inducing a Sara Fitzgerald pop out, striking out right fielder Camille Harris and then getting LaDonia Hughes to fly out to right field to squash LSU's only rally of the night.
Auburn went with Keyes in the circle for the contest after resting her in the earlier session of the day and the senior was stellar yet again. She allowed only the one hit in a complete game shutout and moved her record to 27-10 on the year.
LSU sent freshman Emily Turner, who has been the Tigers' second starter for most of the season, to the mound on Saturday night. The Chula Vista, Calif., native was solid only giving up the two first-inning runs on seven total hits, but it was not enough and she took the loss in a complete-game effort.
At the plate the Tigers more than doubled their hit total of two hits from the two teams' previous two meetings earlier in the year in Baton Rouge. Griffin led the way going 2-3 with the two huge RBIs. Sara Ghezzi was also 2-3 on the night and Anderson went 1-3 and scored one of the two Auburn runs. The other run was scored by Dean, who was 1-2, and Paige Jones added a late double to go 1-3 in the contest.
Next up Auburn will face its second quick turnaround of the tournament as the Tigers will have to face LSU again at 9 a.m. for the right to move into the championship game. The winner of the 9 a.m. contest will take on Georgia, who moved into the championship game undefeated after dispatching of second-seeded Tennessee earlier in the night. The championship game will have a first pitch at 1 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports South.