LSU doubles up Ole Miss

LSU Tigers swept a doubleheader from the Ole Miss Rebels Friday night at Tiger Park and moved into third place in the Southeastern Conference.<br><br>The highlight of the doubleheader, if not the season for the Tigers, was the first game that saw LSU come back from a three-run deficit to defeat the Rebels 10-6 in 11 innings on a Alicia Owen grand-slam homerun.

Tessa Lynam pitched a complete game, one-hit shutout for LSU in the nightcap in the Tigers' 3-0 victory.

The two wins give LSU (37-11, 13-6 SEC) an 11-game win streak heading into today's twinbill with Ole Miss (17-29, 6-17 SEC). The Tigers are four games behind league leading Alabama, who beat South Carolina on Friday to move the Gamecocks down a spot to fourth place in the league standings.

The Tigers scored two runs in the first inning of game one on Christy Conner's two-run home run and held a 3-2 lead heading into the sixth inning. But the Rebels evened the score in the top of the inning with the Rebels scored with tied the game with Andrea Brahs' solo home run by first baseman Andrea Brahs.

The game would stay tied at three until the tenth inning when the tiebreaker rule was put into effect, giving Ole Miss a runner on second base to start its at-bat. After a second Rebel reached base, Brooke Turner then launched a Kristin Schmidt pitch over the left-field wall to give the Rebels a seemingly comfortable 6-3 lead.

With Owen on second base to start the bottom of the tenth for the Tigers, Wiese launched a towering two-run homerun off the Tiger Park scoreboard to cut the Rebel lead to 6-5.

Rebel starter Lindsay Price then retired catcher Leigh Ann Danos and pinch-hitter Lauren Delahoussaye to put the Rebels one out away from the upset victory.

Camille Harris put an end to the celebration, as the freshman outfielder launched the first pitch she saw from Price over the left-field wall for a game-tying two run homerun.

After Schmidt shutout the Rebels in the 11th inning, Sara Fitzgerald was placed on second base to lead off the LSU half. After intentional walks to Tessa Lynam and Connor, Owen ended game one with a grand-slam opposite field homerun.

Owen was ecstatic after the game.

"I've actually had a grand slam opportunity before that just went foul," Owen said. "I was so excited just because I was struggling through the whole game. To just come up when the other team didn't have that much respect for me and just to earn their respect with that hit felt so good."

LSU coach Yvette Girouard said she hoped her young ball club will take advantage of the emotional lift that they received.

"You gotta hope that these freshmen are starting to come around," Girouard said after the six-plus hour marathon. "Our freshmen are really starting to play ball. Alicia Owen, Camille Harris, Julie Wiese is starting to hit the ball like the old Julie Wiese. It was just a magical comeback (in game one). It was really a fun game to be apart of."

Perhaps equally as impressive as the Tigers miraculous comeback was the pitching of Schmidt. The junior right-hander from Houston pitched all 11 innings of game one, giving up four earned runs on only eight hits. She walked only one and set a new career-high with 17 strikeouts.

The 17 strikeouts were the most since Britni Sneed struck out 19 against Oklahoma in the 2001 Women's College World Series.

Girouard was very pleased with the performance of her ace to be able to fight through a blister on right index finger.

"She's got a finger that's ripped wide open," Girouard said of the Schmidt injury. "So it was really a gutsy performance. Her performance was even more gutsy when you realize what her finger looks like. She battled and battled and battled and her team got her some runs."

Schmidt (22-9) was just happy to be able to contribute to the victory.

"Tonight was definitely a marathon game to start with but I thought we did very well to fight all the way through and finish up strong," Schmidt said. "I just wanted to keep hitters off base and keep us in the game."

In game two, the Tigers got on the board with one run in the third inning on Blair Smith's solo homerun and scored two more run in the fourth inning for a 3-0 lead.

That's all Lynam (15-2) would need in the circle as the sophomore pitcher walked one Rebel hitter while striking out nine.

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