LSU took two of three from Missouri over the weekend, marking the first time LSU has won a true road series this season.
The series opener was typical LSU: little offense, great pitching, late inning dramatics. Allie Walljasper got the ball and tossed six innings allowing one run, five hits, no walks while striking out four. The one run came in the sixth inning off an MU homer, that tied the game and eventually forced extras. Carley Hoover would take the ball in the seventh and toss four shutout innings, only allowing one hit on seven strikeouts. In the 10th, Shemiah Sanchez would double in Michaela Schlattman for what would be the winning run in the 2-1 victory.
LSU’s bats came out in full force in the second game powered by a five-run fifth inning. The scoring began with a fielder’s choice off the bat of Sanchez which scored Griggs. Schlattman, Amber Serrett, and Becca Schulte would single in consecutive at bats, with Schlattman driving in Amanda Doyle, Serrett scoring Schlattman and Sanchez, and Schulte plating Serrett. Maribeth Gorsuch posted another solid outing with two runs on five hits and two walks allowed in the complete game effort. LSU would tack on another insurance run in the fourth with a Doyle RBI groundout. In the seventh, Shelbi Sunseri would homer and Aliyah Andrews would drive in Elyse Thornhill on a groundout, to cap the Tiger scoring for the game, 9-2 for LSU.
The finale of the series was one to forget. LSU’s offense jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second thanks to a Serrett RBI single and a Sunseri single that scored Serrett off a Mizzou error. A Doyle double in the third and a Sunseri home run gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead late in the game. In a twist, it was the Tiger pitching that would be the issue in this loss. With Mizzou trailing 4-1 entering the bottom of the seventh, Hoover would hit a batter then walk three straight, to make it a 4-2 game. Hoover would secure the second out, only to allow a single to Regan Nash that cleared the bases, resulting in a 5-4 Missouri win.
Although Hoover’s performance in the finale was dreadful, it would be unwise to panic. Unless her latest performance was a sign of injury, expect Hoover to bounce back.
Aside from that, there is still a lot of good from this series. LSU continues to show the ability to win games late. Shelbi Sunseri continues to swing a hot bat and is making a strong case to be hitting higher in the lineup. Sanchez has also been strong at the plate. Gorsuch has once again proven to be a fairly reliable option for the Tigers. Her presence has been needed more than anticipated with the Tigers playing in so many extra inning games.
LSU remains on the road with a Tuesday contest against McNeese State, and returns to Tiger Park Friday for three against Ole Miss.