March 11, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - Senior Alisa Goler went 2-for-3 with a grand slam and five RBI to lift No. 1 Georgia past No. 21 LSU, 6-3, in the Bulldogs' Southeastern Conference opener at Jack Turner Softball Stadium on Friday evening.
Georgia improved to 19-1 on the year by winning its first conference game of the season while LSU dropped to 15-8 overall and 0-3 in league action.
Goler blasted the grand slam on the first pitch she saw in the third inning. The bases became full of Bulldogs as junior Ashley Pauly led off with a single to center and seniors Taylor Schlopy and Megan Wiggins followed with a pair of walks.
It marked the third grand slam of Goler's career, and it was also the third by the Bulldogs this season. Additionally, it was the 45th career home run for Goler moving her within two of the Georgia career record of 47 held by Megan McAllister.
With the run support from the grand slam, sophomore pitcher Alison Owen settled in from the circle and pitched into the seventh inning allowing three runs on five hits while striking out five to improve to 7-0 on the year. Senior Katie Murphy relieved Owen in the seventh to notch her first career save as a Bulldog.
Rachele Fico pitched a complete game for LSU but allowed Georgia's six runs on nine hits and three walks to fall to 5-6.
LSU scored its first run in the fifth to make it 4-1. Lauren Houston led off with a double, and pinch runner Heidi Pizer came around to score when Juliana Santos punt down a sacrifice bunt and reached on a Bulldog throwing error.
In the sixth, Georgia added two insurance runs pushing its lead to 6-1. Senior Laura Trout started the inning off with a single up the middle. Two batters and two outs later, Trout stole second setting up an RBI single to right from Wiggins. Goler then followed with a run-scoring double to left center.
LSU put up the game's final two runs in the seventh on back-to-back solo home runs from Houston and Santos that ended Owen's bid at a complete game, but Murphy entered and sealed the victory for the Bulldogs.
The three-game Georgia-LSU series continues on Saturday with game two at 2:30 p.m. ET. Admission is free and the first 500 fans will receive Georgia Softball Silly Bands. Live stats and audio will also be available on georgiadogs.com.