FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 15 LSU used a four-run sixth inning to rally to a 6-5 win over Loyola Marymount Friday evening at Anderson Family Field. With the win, LSU goes 2-0 on its first day at the Judi Garman Classic.
LSU is now 17-1 with the two wins Friday and Loyola Marymount falls to 7-11.
After trailing for most of the game, the Tigers scored two runs in the fifth and four runs in the bottom of the sixth to capture their first lead of the night thanks to a three RBI-double by center fielder Ciara Briggs. Briggs finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate and registered her 14th career multiple RBI game.
Shortstop Taylor Pleasants drove in a pair of ribbies on a two-run shot in the fifth to put the Tigers on the scoreboard. She now has eight homers and 29 RBIs on the season.
Freshman pitcher Sydney Berzon improved to 6-0 in the circle, tossing a career-high eight strikeouts while allowing six hits, one walk and one run in 6.1 innings. Senior pitcher Ali Kilponen earned her third save this season after entering in the seventh and retired the final batter of the game. It is Kilponen’s eighth career save which moves her into a tie for third with Rachele Fico (2010-2013) in LSU’s record book for career saves.
LMU pitcher Jenna Perez (2-8) was credited with the loss after throwing two strikeouts with five hits, one walk and five earned runs in 2.0 innings pitched.
Loyola got on the board with three runs in the first inning and added another run in the top of the fourth to get out to a 4-0 lead.
The Tigers got the bats going in the bottom of the fifth frame. Third baseman Danieca Coffey reached on an error and advanced to second on a passed ball before Pleasants cut the Lions lead in half 4-2 with a dinger to left field.
First baseman Raeleen Gutierrez kept the rally going in the sixth with a one-out double and catcher Ali Newland followed with a double of her own that scored Gutierrez to make it a one-run game. Left fielder Savannah Stewart singled and Coffey wore a pitch to load the bases with only one out. Briggs came to the dish and knocked a double into the outfield which scored all three runners, giving LSU their first lead of the game, 6-4.
Berzon retired eight consecutive batters from the fourth to the seventh inning to allow the offense to battle back.
The Lions crossed a runner in the top of the seventh, but it was not enough as Berzon and Kilponen combined to close out the final inning.
LSU will have another doubleheader tomorrow against Minnesota at 2:30 p.m. CT and San Jose at 5 p.m. CT.
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