A two-run sixth inning provided Michigan with the edge it needed to top the Tigers 2-0 in LSU’s opening game of the Women’s College World Series.
For most of the game, both sides were locked in a pitcher’s duel. Beth Torina tapped Allie Walljasper to start the opener for the Tigers. The sophomore effectively controlled the powerful Wolverine lineup through the five innings allowing just three hits and a walk, and most importantly, keeping them off the scoreboard. For Michigan, Megan Betsa matched Walljasper inning-for-inning. Betsa would pitch seven scoreless innings, striking out eight. LSU had its chances against Betsa, putting runners on first and second in the fourth and fifth inning, but failed to turn those chances into runs.
The bad inning for the LSU staff came in the sixth. Walljasper would allow a walk, single and another walk to load the bases with no outs. Torina would pull her in favor of Carley Hoover, who surrendered a two run double to the first batter she faced. Hoover would recover and not allow any more runs to score, but the damage had been done. Betsa would retire the Tigers in order in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Like last weekend, after one game the Tigers again find themselves on the brink of elimination. Also like last weekend, the Tigers were victims of late opposition offense, only Friday was not a walk-off loss. For the most part, the pitching did its job, holding a Michigan team averaging eight runs to just two. Unfortunately, the runs LSU did allow came at the worst possible time. On offense, the Tigers who had done a good job at cashing in with runners on, couldn’t find success in that area against the Wolverines.
Saturday, LSU must beat a familiar foe in Alabama to stay alive in the tournament. The Tigers took two of three from Bama during the regular season and faced elimination against the Tide last year and won 5-3. However, the Tide’s likely starter, Sydney Littlejohn, did beat the Tigers in the only Bama win of the series.
LSU looks to keep its season alive Saturday at 1:30 pm.
Sooners top Tide in 8th inning walk-off.
OU’s Shay Knighten provided the first and only run scoring play of the day with a three run home run in the bottom of the eighth. Leading up to that, the main story of the day had been pitching with Bama’s Alexis Osorio and OU’s Paige Parker combining for just six hits, seven walks and 17 strikeouts before the decisive eighth.