Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Communications
By: Keonte Herrera
AUBURN, Ala. - A late seventh inning rally fell short as No. 12/13 LSU (33-9, 6-7 SEC) dropped game one to No. 21/24 Auburn (31-12, 8-5 SEC), 5-3 Friday night at Jane B. Moore Field.
“I liked our fight at the end,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “I thought we were able to make some noise in the seventh, and I hope that carries over into tomorrow and we can get the series win.”
Graduate pitcher Ali Kilponen (10-5) received the loss after throwing four strikeouts and allowing four runs on seven hits and one walk in 4.0 innings. Freshman pitcher Alea Johnson entered the circle in the fifth and finished with one strikeout and retired six consecutive batters to end the game.
Graduate infielder Karli Petty led the offense, going 2-for-3 at the dish with one RBI on a solo homer, her second of the season while junior catcher Ali Newland also went yard on a two RBI dinger in the seventh inning. Junior outfielder Ciara Briggs tied the team lead in hits with two and tacked on one run.
Auburn’s pitcher Maddie Penta (19-5) earned the win, tossing five strikeouts and allowing three runs on six hits in a complete game effort.
Auburn struck first with a two-run home run by senior left fielder Lindsey Garcia in the bottom of the first, and extended its lead 3-0 after a one-run single by junior designated player KK McCrary in the fourth.
After a single to open the bottom of the fifth inning, sophomore shortstop Nelia Peralta hit the second two-run homer of the evening to go ahead, 5-0.
Briggs led off the seventh with her second single and Newland cut into the deficit with a two-run homer with no outs. A couple batters later, Petty knocked her second dinger of the season to left field to make it a 5-3 ball game. Unfortunately, the Tigers were unable to do anymore damage, falling to Auburn, 5-3.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.