Ole Miss takes Game 2, hands LSU its first defeat of season

LSU fell victim to a sixth and seventh inning rally from the Ole Miss. The series finale against the Rebels will be on Monday night at 6 p.m. CT on the SEC Network. PHOTO By LSU Athletics

A five-run rally over the final two innings handed No. 2 LSU its first season loss, a 5-2 setback against Ole Miss Sunday night at Tiger Park.

LSU falls to 24-1 and 4-1 in SEC play. Ole Miss, meanwhile, improved to 19-8 and 2-3 in league play.

Ole Miss pitcher Makenna Kliethermes (9-2) was credited the win with four strikeouts and allowed seven hits, three walks and two runs in 6.1 innings. Pitcher Catelyn Riley earned her second save of the season after recording the game’s final two outs. 

LSU pitcher Sydney Berzon (9-1) was charged with her first loss of the season, throwing eight strikeouts. Berzon gave up five runs—two of which were earned—and allowed six hits and two walks in the complete-game setback.

Outfielder Ciara Briggs went 2-for-4, continuing her six-game hitting streak. Designated player Kelley Lynch and second baseman Karli Petty had one hit and one RBI in the loss.

“I think we are going to be better for this loss,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “The undefeated record was like a monkey on our back, and we began to play tight in some games. I think we will be better for this moment. Did we want to have this moment? Of course not, but I truly think we will be better tomorrow because we’ve moved on from everything we were carrying.”

Petty knocked a standup double in the second inning, advanced to third on a passed ball, and was brought home on a sacrifice fly from Lynch to put the home team ahead early, 1-0.

After surrendering a leadoff double in the first inning, Berzon and the defense retired the next 17 consecutive batters, including seven strikeouts, through 5.2 innings.  

In the fourth inning, LSU increased its lead to 2-0 behind another sac fly—this time from Petty—scoring outfielder McKenzie Redoutey, who opened the frame with a single.

After the Tigers recorded the first two outs in the sixth to cap the streak of 17 retired batters, Ole Miss outfielder Jalia Lassiter hit her second double of the day, eventually sparking consecutive RBI singles to even the score at 2-2. 

The Rebels then scored three runs on two hits and three errors in the seventh to take a 5-2 lead, highlighted by Lassiter’s two-RBI single.

LSU attempted a rally in the seventh after Lynch and Briggs turned in base knocks, but unfortunately, the Tigers were unsuccessful as the game’s final two batters grounded out. 

“I think we must keep playing big,” coach Torina said. “We’re down in the 7th inning, and we continue to get people on base and have great at-bats. We showed fight and grit even when the game wasn’t going our way.” 

Up Next

The rubber match in the LSU-Ole Miss series will begin at 6 p.m. CT on Monday, March 18, and will air on SEC Network.

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Tiger Rag News Services

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