BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 15 LSU (36-11, 9-8 SEC) saw every starter record at least one hit en route to a 10-4 victory over Mississippi State (24-21, 3-13 SEC) to win the series Saturday night at Tiger Park.
“I like how we continued to battle back when we were down,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “Our ability to create pressure was awesome. The offense really set the tone and allowed the defense to play free and aggressive.”
Freshman pitcher Alea Johnson improved to 7-0 after tossing one strikeout and allowing no runs and three hits in 5.1 innings of relief.
LSU’s 10 runs and 15 hits are the most against an SEC opponent this season. The Tigers also improved to 11-0 on the season when they score 10 or more runs in a game.
Graduate infielder Karli Petty led the way offensively, setting a career-high with three and matched her career-best four RBIs. Petty was a double short of hitting the cycle as she logged her third home run and triple Saturday night.
“Petty was awesome tonight,” said Coach Torina. “She’s worked really hard on making some adjustments and it was nice to see it pay off.”
Junior infielder Taylor Pleasants logged back-to-back games with three hits and added an RBI and one walk. Junior catcher Ali Newland went 2-for-4 with three ribbies, and graduate outfielder Savannah Stewart rounded out Tigers with multiple hits on the night, recording two hits for the second time this season.
Mississippi State’s senior pitcher Aspen Wesley (6-7) was charged with the loss, allowing seven runs on ten hits and two walks in 3.1 innings.
Mississippi State’s senior infielder Aquana Brownlee put the Bulldogs on the board with a three-run homer in the top of the first, but the Tigers answered with two runs of their own thanks to a two-out two-run single from Newland in the bottom half inning.
The Bulldogs scored again in the second, this time on a solo shot from senior outfielder Chloe Malau’ulu to take a 4-2 lead.
After two scoreless innings, LSU’s bats caught fire, scoring seven runs on six hits in the fourth frame. Three RBI singles from junior outfielder Ciara Briggs, Pleasants and Newland, followed by a three-run triple from Petty gave the Tigers an 8-4 advantage, and LSU plated one more run on a passed ball to end the inning with a 9-4 lead.
Petty added an insurance run for LSU in the bottom of the sixth with a solo homer to extend the lead, 10-4.
The Bulldogs put a runner on second, but a double play on the second batter of the inning shut down the threat, and Briggs made a diving catch for the final out to secure the win.
LSU and Mississippi State will conclude their three game series Sunday at 2 p.m
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