Auburn took the first win in a battle of the Tigers against LSU Friday night. The No. 25 Auburn Tigers edged the No. 13 LSU Tigers 5-3 in the first game of the home series.
With its win over LSU, Auburn improves to 8-5 in SEC play and 31-12 overall. Auburn currently sits third in SEC standings–behind Tennessee and Georgia.
Auburn totaled eight hits on the night, while LSU totaled six. Auburn and LSU hit two home runs each, and all of LSU’s runs were scored off homers.
The Tigers picked up momentum early in the first inning with Tigers’ ace Maddie Penta striking out two players in the top of the first. Penta finished the night with five strikeouts and secured her 19th win.
Having just as good of an offensive performance in the first inning as defensive, Auburn ended the first inning with two hits and two runs. Its two runs were the result of a single from Aubrie Lisenby followed by a home run from Lindsey Garcia on an 0-2 pitch.
"Scoring early gives everyone confidence,” said head coach Mickey Dean. “I thought we did a nice job of not letting up and continuing to score throughout the game. We had some good at-bats, both hits and walks, that allowed us to build up a big enough cushion to finish them off."
Auburn scored its third run in the bottom of the fourth inning as KK McCrary singled through the right side to send Skylar Elkins home. McCrary went 1-for-3 on the night. Auburn’s final two runs–runs that ultimately clinched the Tigers' win–came from a leadoff single from Makayla Packer followed by a home run by Nelia Peralta.
"I was battling in my two previous at-bats, so I was focused on doing my job to move the runner on second,” Peralta said. “The pitcher made a mistake, and it worked out for me."
In the first six innings of the matchup, Auburn put up a strong defensive performance against LSU, allowing only three hits and zero runs across the six innings. Penta’s five strikeouts came in the first six innings of the game, and she did not allow a single walk in the contest.
Penta, however, struggled to close things out in the final inning of the contest. In the seventh inning, Penta allowed two home runs that accounted for LSU’s three runs. Despite the shaky start, Penta closed out the inning on a fly out to center field.
In the top of the seventh, Ciara Briggs took the first at-bat for LSU, singling to second base. With Briggs on base, LSU’s Ali Newland hit one out of the park, and LSU secured its first two runs of the game. With one out, LSU’s Karli Petty snagged the Tigers final run of the night off of a home run to left field.
Auburn looks to claim its first series win against LSU since 2017 tomorrow at Jane B. Moore Field. Tomorrow’s matchup will begin at 1 p.m. CST and can be streamed on SEC Network+.
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Grace Heim is a sophomore from Enterprise, Alabama majoring in English Literature. She started with The Plainsman in January 2023.