A three run bottom of the seventh inning, capped off by a walk-off RBI single from Kellsi Kloss, propelled the Tigers to a 5-4 victory over Texas A&M, advancing the team in the SEC Tournament.
LSU’s comeback effort started when Beth Torina used Elyse Thornhill as a pinch-hitter for Amber Serrett. The move paid off as Thornhill singled and was pitch ran for by Akiya Thymes. Bailey Landry followed with a single, before Sandra Simmons singled in Thymes. Emily Griggs put down a sacrifice bunt to move Landry and Simmons into scoring position. The Aggies wanted nothing to do with Bianka Bell and intentionally walked her to load the based. Unfortunately, that move did not pan out as planned when a passed ball scored Landry to tie the game.
With the score tied, A&M again opted to intentionally walk a Tiger, this time Sahvanna Jaquish, to reload the bases. The move again failed, as Kloss hit a hard ground ball off the third baseman’s glove, into the outfield, which platted Simmons as the winning run.
Despite trailing in the seventh, the game started out well for the Tigers. They led 2-0 after two innings thanks to a Kloss RBI single in the first and a Landry RBI single in the second.
Torina gave the ball to Sydney Smith and while Smith got through the first two innings unharmed, the Aggies’ Ashely Walters three-run home run in the 3rd put A&M up a run. Smith recorded the next out, issued a four pitch walk to the following batter and was pulled for Carley Hoover. The more experienced Hoover would go 4.1 innings surrendering one run, three hits and striking out three in relief.
Kloss, Simmons and Landry were LSU’s most effective bats on the afternoon with all players logging two hits and at least one RBI. Landry also made an impact on defense with a diving catch to end the top of the second, stranding an Aggie runner on third.
LSU’s most important goal entering the tournament was ensuring they locked up Baton Rouge as a host for the Regionals. Wednesday’s victory likely ensures a series will be played at Tiger Park in the near future.
Thursday, the Tigers are looking for revenge again when they face Kentucky and a staff which dominated and swept the Tigers earlier in the season.