The Tigers added five more wins to their resume, backed once again by inconsistent offensive performances and great pitching.
Never was this more apparent than in Friday’s 1-0 win against Illinois State. Maribeth Gorsuch logged the best performance of her Tiger career, pitching 7.2 innings of no hit ball, as part of a 10-inning complete game outing, with 12 strikeouts, a walk and a hit. Meanwhile the Tiger offense sputtered, mustering up just six hits and finally won the game when Allie Walljasper’s infield single with the bases loaded scored Claire Weinberger in the bottom of the 10th.
LSU came close to matching that game just a few hours later. In the second Friday game, Walljasper threw a complete game allowing two hits, three walks, while striking out eight. LSU’s offense remained dormant for the first six innings of the game. In the seventh, after an Emily Griggs bunt single, Amber Serrett crushed a home run to left, giving the Tigers their second walk-off win in as many games.
The Tiger offense got going in the final three games, scoring 17 total runs in two games on Saturday and one on Sunday. Notable Tiger offensive performances from the weekend included Aliyah Andrews going 8-of-16 with two walks and three runs scored, Griggs going 6-for-16, and Amanda Doyle and Sydney Springfield each hitting a homerun and the pair combining for nine RBI’s on the weekend.
On the pitching end, Carley Hoover only saw action once this weekend, going a complete game with six strikeouts, four hits, three walks and a run against FAU. Walljasper would also add another complete game performance from her weekend totals, striking out eight. She also made a relief appearance, throwing 3.2 innings with three strikeouts. The pitcher Walljasper relieved, Gorsuch was pulled in the fourth inning after allowing two runners to reach with one out and the Tigers up just 1-0 against Purdue.
Ideally, the Tigers would have shown some more offensive promise exiting this weekend. That said, there certainly are positives heading into league play. The top of the lineup of Andrews, Griggs, Serrett, and Doyle certainly has the look of a good core, with all three hitters showing consistent ability to reach base. Also, the right field platoon of Weinberger and Taylor Antoine has been solid offensively with Weinberger going 6-of-20 (.300) and Antoine 7-of-24 (.292) in split time. It’s not crazy to think that both of them could be candidates for at bats in the DP slot, should both continue to thrive.
Conference play begins Friday when the Tigers welcome No.12 Auburn to Tiger Park for three games.