ATHENS, Ga. – No. 21 LSU (30-17, 10-8 SEC) rallied to force extra innings and put up four runs in the eighth inning to steal game three and the series from No. 13/14 Georgia (37-11, 10-8 SEC), 9-5 Sunday afternoon at Jack Turner Stadium.
Junior Georgia Clark hit her second grand slam of the season and led the team with four RBIs, while sophomores Danieca Coffey and Ciara Briggs each finished 2-for-5 at the plate with one RBI. Sophomore Morgan Smith drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the eighth inning, and junior Morgan Cummins who was 2-for-3 at the dish sealed the game with a two-run home run.
Junior Ali Kilponen threw a complete game (8.0 innings pitched) and improved to 16-4 in the circle after she struck out seven batters and allowed five runs on nine hits with three walks.
Georgia struck first with five runs in the second inning behind a pair of two-run home runs and an RBI single, but the Tigers responded in the top of the third with four runs of their own. Cummins led off the inning with a single and after the Bulldogs recorded two outs, Briggs singled, and sophomore Taylor Pleasants drew a walk to load the bases. Clark came to the plate and continued her perfect tract record of batting 5-for-5 with the basses loaded as she blasted a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall to bring LSU within one run, 5-4 through three innings. Both teams remained scoreless for the next three innings.
In the top of the seventh stanza with one out, freshman Sydney Peterson singled and advanced to second on an error. Freshman KK Madrey came in to pinch run for Peterson and stole third base with Coffey at the plate. Coffey drove Madrey in with a single up the middle to tie the game at five and ultimately forced extra innings after the LSU defense ended the bottom half of the inning with a double play.
Clark drew a walk to start the eighth inning and was pinch ran for by junior Karrington Houshmandzadeh. Senior Shelbi Sunseri advanced Houshmandzadeh to second with a sac bunt, and Houshmandzadeh tagged up to third on a flyout. Smith in her lone at-bat singled up the middle to plate Houshmandzadeh to give the Tigers a 6-5 lead. Cummins followed immediately with a two-run shot to put LSU ahead 8-5, and Briggs added one more insurance run with an RBI single to the shortstop to make the score 9-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.
A couple of line-outs to the outfield started the bottom half for the Bulldogs until one batter was walked and advanced to second base thanks to a single. That would be all the defense allowed however as another line out to centerfield ended the game.
LSU will begin its four-game homestand at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26 against McNeese State at Tiger Park.
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