Ali Newland Slams Again and LSU sweeps Texas A&M

Outfielder Ali Newland hit her second grand slam of the season, fourth of career in a seven-run sixth inning for LSU's third rally of the series. PHOTO BY LSU ATHLETICS

Another late rally highlighted by outfielder Ali Newland’s second grand slam of the season gave No. 6/7 LSU a 9-3 victory against No. 11/12 Texas A&M to secure the series sweep on Saturday at Tiger Park.

LSU has two SEC series sweeps this season and is now 29-4 overall and 8-4 in the SEC. LSU holds a 10-2 record over ranked opponents this season. Texas A&M is now 28-7 and 8-4 in the conference.

For the second consecutive game, the Tigers cashed in big in the sixth inning, which featured seven runs. Trailing 3-2, LSU opened the inning with three straight singles, including a run-scoring hit by catcher Maci Bergeron to tie the game 3-3. After loading the bases with a walk, Newland launched a ball to center field for her sixth round-tripper of the season, giving the home team a 7-3 lead. The Tigers came from behind to beat the Aggies in each game of the series.  

“Texas A&M is super talented,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “They have all the pieces in their offense. They can run, and they can hit for power. I know that may not have been shown this weekend, but that shows you what type of pitcher Sydeny Berzon is, and Kelly Lynch also held them [Texas A&M] down well.”

Pitcher Sydney Berzon (13-1) earned the victory, dealing four punchouts while allowing no runs with three hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. Berzon won all three games in the series, making her the first pitcher since 2011 to register three wins in a three-game SEC series (Brittany Mack, at Mississippi State, April 29-May 1, 2011). Pitcher Raelin Chaffin started the game in the circle and threw three strikeouts in 1.2 innings. 

Texas A&M pitcher Emiley Kennedy (14-5) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on six hits, walked four batters, and struck out three in 5.0 innings. 

Newland had two hits and four RBIs, highlighted by her fourth career grand slam. It was Newland’s 30th career multiple-RBI game. Outfielder Ciara Briggs also had two hits, improving her hitting streak to seven games, and added two runs. Both Briggs and Newland lead the team with 13 multi-hit games.

A base-clearing three-run triple from Texas A&M’s infielder Kennedy Powell in the second inning gave the visiting club a 3-0 lead. LSU kept TAMU scoreless the rest of the game, allowing only three hits in the final five frames.

LSU scored nine unanswered runs, beginning with a two-out two-run single from first baseman Raeleen Gutierrez in the third inning. After Bergeron’s RBI and Newland’s slam in the sixth, the Fighting Tigers added two more insurance runs from an error and a free pass to balloon the lead to 9-3. 

“I think this is an extremely talented team,” said Coach Torina. “We hit a little bump in the road. We didn’t respond well after a loss. In the future, I think I’ll be able to coach them through that better. But this has been a talented team since they first took the field this year. I don’t know how that was forgotten, but I did not forget it. I think they are one of the best in the country. They have a shot to be the best.” 

Up Next

LSU will end its four-game homestand with a 6 p.m. CT game against ULM on Tuesday, April 2, at Tiger Park.

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