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Tigers Fall 7-0 to Gators In Second Game of WCWS

Florida shuts down Tiger bats

Chris Parent / LSUSports.net

The Tiger offense never got going and pitching collapsed late in a 7-0 loss to the Gators.

On paper, the offensively challenged Tigers were not a good matchup against a Gator staff which is considered to be one of the best in the nation. However, with a disciplined approach at the plate, the Tiger offense looked like it might have a chance to score some runs early. In the bottom of the second, Sahvanna Jaquish would single, and after a Bailey Landry fly out, Amanda Doyle would walk putting two on with two out, only to have Shemiah Sanchez ground out to third. An inning later, a Connie Quinn single, a passed ball, and a sac bunt by Sydney Sprignfield would give LSU a runner at third with one out. Gator third baseman Aleshia Ocasio would make a diving catch into the dugout on an Amber Serrett pop up in foul territory for the second out and Aliyah Andrews would strikeout, stranding Quinn at third.

From that point, it appeared as though the Tigers lost some composure, taking more swings at bad pitches, making it that much easier for Kelly Barnhill, the nation’s leader in ERA, to work through the lineup. LSU’s final hit of the night came in the sixth when Bailey Landry laid down a bunt single, desperate to get any sort of offense.

Carley Hoover matched zeros with Barnhill through the first three innings, but had difficulty with the Gator lineup, having allowed multiple runners to reach in the first and third innings. Hoover’s final inning would come in the fourth after a walk and hit batter, a double by Chelsea Herndon gave the Gators a 2-0 lead. Hoover would escape the fourth and would be replaced by Allie Walljasper the following inning.

Walljasper was mostly ineffective in her relief appearance. She surrendered a home run to Herndon in the sixth, which felt like a crushing blow given LSU’s struggles on offense and the way Barnhill was pitching. The wheels came off in the seventh after Walljasper surrendered three more runs, two of which came on another home run, forcing Beth Torina to use Maribeth Gorsuch. The freshman would close out the game, but not before allowing another Gator to cross the plate.

Although the final score would suggest a blow out, there were certainly moments when it felt as if the Tigers could not catch the Gators, even when the lead was two or three nothing. The offensive struggles are disappointing but given LSU’s struggles in this area and the Gator’s pitching, the outcome isn’t that all surprising.

There should be some concern about the health of Hoover and Walljasper. It’s apparent Hoover is still dealing with the knee injury and this is the second time in the last two rounds that Walljasper has struggled coming off of pitching in the previous day.

Good news in all of this is that the Tigers are still alive and for now, that will have to do. The Tigers will face the winner of UCLA-Texas A&M Oregon-Baylor Saturday evening at 6 PM.