AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 2 Auburn softball team opened SEC play with a dramatic 5-4 win over No. 12 LSU Friday night. The orange and blue Tigers (21-2, 1-0 SEC) notched five productive hits on the night, including two doubles.
"[The win] shows character," said head coach Clint Myers. "We're a young ball club and the character we showed tonight was awesome. The ability to go out there and answer every time they'd score was huge.
"We were very proud of how they played tonight, the way they answered and the way they battled all night long."
Victoria Draper led the offense with a 2-for-3 performance at the dish and scored one run. Kendall Veach boasted a team-best two RBI and a double, while Haley Fagan and Courtney Shea combined to bring in two in the seven-inning contest.
Kaylee Carlson earned her 12th consecutive win on the season after tossing seven frames and striking out three.
LSU (18-5, 0-1) opened the scoring in the top of the first when it hit a two-run home run - just the second Auburn had allowed all season.
Auburn responded in the bottom of the third and took the lead when it scored three runs on three hits.
Draper opened the stanza with an infield single and was moved to second by Carlee Wallace. After a Kasey Cooper walk - who drew three on the night - Fagan belted a first-pitch fastball over the right fielder's head for an RBI double.
Veach then grounded out to the shortstop, but it was enough to bring home Cooper and knot the game up at 2-2. Shea ripped a run-scoring single to center that elevated Auburn to a 3-2 lead.
The margin did not last long, however, as LSU hit a solo home run and scored on an error in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to regain the advantage at 4-3.
In the home half of the fifth, Auburn struck back. Fagan drew a leadoff walk on four pitches and later scored when Veach laced a double down the line that tied the tilt. Two batters later, Morgan Podany got the job done by putting a two-strike pitch in play that was bobbled by the second baseman and brought home Veach, giving Auburn the lead at 5-4.
That was all Carlson would need as she sent the final six hitters down in order to guide Auburn to a conference victory.
Auburn and LSU are set to face off in the second game of the three-game series Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The game is set to be televised by the SEC Network and will be available on radio at 95.9 FM and on the official Auburn app.