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Softball Weekend Recap: Net Positive

Flashes of brilliance from the Tiger offense

Amber Serrett

There were moments of brilliance and moments of frustration this past weekend as the Tigers took three of four from the LSU Round Robin.

The high point of the weekend came on Saturday, when the Tigers late inning magic came through in the form of a two-run walk-off home run by Amanda Doyle in the bottom of the 8th inning against No. 13 Baylor, capping off a resilient, long-ball fueled effort by the Tigers. Earlier in the game, down 2-0, Amber Serrett launched a two-run home run in the fifth to tie things up. In the bottom of the seventh, down a run, Shemiah Sanchez led off the inning with a home run that forced extra innings.

LSU’s pitching effort came from Carley Hoover who was effective while receiving little help from her defense. The Tiger senior tossed a complete game, striking out five, allowing nine hits and only one earned run out of three total Baylor runs.

The Tigers offense busted through in Friday’s game against BYU, with an 8-0 run rule win. Michaela Schlattman got things going with a three-run bomb in the first. In the bottom of the third, freshman and just returned from injury Shelbi Sunseri hit a two-out RBI double that scored Serrett and Schlattman. Sunseri would score later in the inning on a throwing error by the BYU shortstop. Back-to-back RBI singles by Aliyah Andrews and Emily Griggs would pad the Tiger lead.

In the circle, Maribeth Gorsuch would log four shutout innings allowing just one hit on three strikeouts. Sunseri would pitch a scoreless fifth inning.

It wasn’t all pretty for the Tigers this weekend. In the opener against BYU, the Tigers run scoring was missing for most of the night. The first ten innings were a scoreless affair for both teams. Allie Walljasper was outstanding in her outing, going 10 innings allowing just an unearned run, that came in her final inning of work, striking out nine. Hoover would relieve Walljasper in the tenth and strikeout four in three scoreless innings of relief.

The Tigers offense was Griggs. In the bottom of the tenth, she grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Andrews and kept LSU alive. Two innings later, her game winning RBI single scored Claire Weinberger to give the Tigers a 2-1 victory.

No offense was to be found in the weekend finale, a 1-0 loss to North Dakota State. As usual, the Tiger pitching did its part, with Walljasper striking out eight and allowing just one earned run, which came in extras. LSU’s offense went 0-5 with runners in scoring position, and 1-10 with runners on base.

This weekend left a lot to digest, with the ultimate take away being that the Tigers won three of four including the toughest opponent on the slate. It’s also nice to see the Tigers still seem to have some late inning ability at Tiger Park, even when the innings leading up seemed bleak. While seeing Griggs, Doyle and Serrett come up big this weekend was great, it was also awesome to see Sanchez, Sunseri, Schlattman, and others hitting outside of the top of the lineup make an impact in the box score. LSU will need those kinds of performances going forward.

LSU hosts Southern Miss on Tuesday night, before another SEC road test, this time in Columbia against Missouri.