AUBURN, Ala. – Graduate designated player Georgia Clark hit a go-ahead home run in the fourth inning and No. 12/13 LSU (34-9, 7-7 SEC) prevailed and even the series with a 3-2 victory over No. 21/24 Auburn (31-13, 8-6 SEC) Saturday afternoon at Jane B. Moore Field.
“I thought our defense played really well,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “Sydney Berzon kept us in the ball game. Our defense was able to be really solid behind her. She forced a ton of ground balls and we played them all really well, so it was great to see our defense play that way.”
Freshman pitcher Sydney Berzon (12-3) pitched a complete game and threw four strikeouts and let up two runs on three hits and four walks in the win.
Clark paced the offense, hitting her tenth home run of the season and 40th of her career. Sophomore outfielder McKenzie Reedoutey put together a one-hit, one-RBI performance while junior infielder Raeleen Gutierrez and junior catcher Ali Newland tacked on one hit a piece. Freshman catcher Maci Bergeron logged a hit as well as a pinch hitter in the seventh to round out LSU’s five hits.
“Georgia Clark is the leader of our offense,” said Coach Torina. “For her to step up and get the one big swing is very fitting for what she does for this team.”
Auburn’s pitcher Shelby Lowe (3-4) got the start and went 4.0 innings before getting pulled. Lowe struck out five batters and gave up two runs on two hits. Annabelle Widra threw the remaining 3.0 innings and gave up three hits, one run and one walk, while striking out three batters.
After Berzon struck out two batters in the first and retired Auburn in order in the second, the home team found the run column thanks to a one-run single to take a 1-0 lead through three frames.
In the top of the fourth, Newland reached base on a single to left field before Clark gave LSU its first lead of the series with a two-run shot down the left field line.
LSU struck again with another run in the fifth. Gutierrez led off the inning by drawing a walk, and Redoutey brought her home with an RBI double to left center to increase the lead, 3-1.
Auburn cut into the lead with a leadoff homer in the sixth from senior outfielder Lindsey Garcia. Berzon went on to retire the next six batters to end the game, including a strikeout on the final batter to secure the 3-2 win.
The series finale between LSU and Auburn will begin at 3 p.m. tomorrow and televised on ESPN2.
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