LSU’s 2018 softball campaign came to an end Saturday night in a 3-1 loss to Florida State, sending the Seminoles to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series finals and the Tigers back to Baton Rouge to begin the offseason.
In a series that through the first two games saw the Tigers score eleven runs, saw the return of an LSU offense that frequently could not provide the run support needed to backup stellar pitching.
For the series finale Beth Torina opted for Allie Walljasper, and the senior hurler did a good job at containing an FSU offense that had its moments against Tiger hurlers in the first two games. The only, albeit decisive, blemish came in the third inning when FSU’s Jessie Warren, who crushed Tiger pitching all series, hit a three run bomb putting the Seminoles up 3-0. Walljasper worked out of a jam in the fourth to keep the game potentially in striking distance. She finished the game allowing two hits, four walks, striking out four.
LSU’s offense came in the form of an Amber Serrett ground out that scored Shemiah Sanchez in the top of the fifth. Aside from that fifth inning, which saw the Tigers have second and third with just one out, the LSU lineup wasn’t able to put multiple runners on against FSU’s Kaylee Hanson. The Tigers grounded into two double plays in the game, including one in the top of the seventh inning.
The loss marks the first time the senior class of Walljasper, Carley Hoover, Emily Griggs, and Sydney Loupe failed to finish a season in Oklahoma City. Any result short of winning the title is going to be disappointing, but this loss seems to have particular sting as it marks the end of the careers of Walljasper and Hoover, two of the best pitchers in program history. Softball at LSU will continue though. As Torina alluded to in her post game comments, it’s impossible to replace a Hoover or Walljasper. It will be up to the returning Tigers to make their own impact that rivals that of the departing seniors.