LSU picked up a much needed three wins by sweeping the No.16 Georgia Bulldogs in Baton Rouge over the weekend, powered by lights out pitching which shut down the UGA offense.
The Tiger pitching was truly magnificent, holding down the top offense in the SEC to just three runs, including two shutouts over the weekend series. Carley Hoover went the distance Friday night surrendering just one earned run while striking out four. Hoover was topped the following game by Allie Walljasper who pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out four. That was followed by another two-hit shutout, this time with Sydney Smith in the circle. Smith’s outing was particularly promising, after struggling a bit in her last two outings.
Another key for success in this series was the defense. Although both teams kept it pretty clean in terms of errors, the Tigers committed none over the series compared to three Bulldog errors. In fairness, a wild pitch and passed ball did lead to two unearned Georgia runs Friday night, but the infield and outfield had strong weekends defensively.
The Tiger offense did not have a particularly strong weekend, but was incredibly timely and opportunistic. In the first game, LSU fought back from a two-run deficit to take the lead, and in the bottom of the seventh, after Georgia had tied the game, Connie Quinn came through with a walk-off RBI single. Game two had only one serious scoring opportunity, which came in the third inning with the bases loaded. More importantly however, was the fact that Bailey Landry’s RBI single allowed LSU to capitalize on the situation. The third game saw LSU take advantage of some faulty Georgia defense, with the Tigers scoring on a Bulldog error.
If there was an offensive MVP for the weekend it was Landry. Although she had her 20-game hitting streak snapped, she went two-for-seven with three RBI’s, a run and two walks. Emily Griggs, Amber Serrett and Aliyah Andrews had strong weekends. Quietly, Andrews has locked down the left field spot, both defensively and offensively, entering the final game of the Georgia series on a solid seven-game hitting streak. What has also been overlooked is the slump of Amanda Doyle who hasn't had a hit since March 12th and appears to be platooning with Allie Walljasper for time at DP.
Ultimately, getting three wins this weekend was big. This series gives LSU a 4-5 record against ranked teams and a 4-2 mark in conference play. Neither of those are probably where LSU wanted to be at this point in the season, but they are decent building points. The Tigers needed to show they could be contenders in the conference and sweeping a ranked team at home certainly shows that. The Tigers also scored some style points as far as the offense coming through when needed and the defense playing well overall.
The Tigers stay at home for the next four games, with ULM on Tuesday and three against Mississippi State starting on Friday.