The Tiger softball team will head into the SEC Tournament with momentum on their side after sweeping Arkansas in three games in the final series of the regular season.
The most complete game of the weekend came Saturday in a 10-2, run-rule victory. Taylor Antoine got the scoring going, crossing home on a passed ball in the first inning. In the third, Amanda Doyle would single in Aliyah Andrews. LSU’s bats came alive in the fourth starting with Michaela Schlattman hitting a two-run home run, scoring Claire Weinberger. Three batters later, Antoine would triple, driving home Shelbi Sunseri. Antoine would come home on the next batter, when Emily Griggs singled back to the pitcher. In the fifth, Sunseri would homer, plating Shemiah Sanchez in the process. An RBI by Sydney Springfield scored Schlattman, and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Griggs would score Sydney Loupe and put the Tigers up by eight to secure the run-rule win.
LSU’s pitching would come from Maribeth Gorsuch who pitch five innings, surrendering two runs on eight hits and striking out three.
Allie Walljasper got the ball on Friday and didn’t appear to miss a beat following very limited action the weekend before against Florida. The senior pitched a complete game allowing a run on five hits and three walks, striking out three. LSU’s offense came in the first inning and the last inning. Griggs would double to center in the first, scoring Antoine. In the bottom of the seventh, with the game tied at one, Amanda Doyle would homer to center field giving the Tigers a walk off, 2-1 win.
In the finale on Sunday, Walljasper got the ball again and logged another complete game, striking out seven in the four-hit shutout. Amber Serrett kicked off the scoring with an RBI double in the second. An inning later, Griggs would single in Antoine and Sanchez would homer to score Doyle and Griggs as the Tigers would go onto win 5-0.
It’s very challenging to find any super negative thoughts with this weekend. The offense showed both late inning heroics and the ability to explode for the big inning. The pitching was awesome as usual, Gorsuch continues to look more capable with each start.
With the sweep the Tigers leapfrog with Razorbacks in the standings, and with Texas A&M getting swept, the Tigers pass the Aggies as well. Unfortunately, Tennessee did not get swept so the Tigers fell just one spot from reaching the top-4 and a first round bye for the SEC Tournament. As the five seed, the Tigers will take on Ole Miss in the first round, a team LSU took two of three from at Tiger Park earlier this year, though one of those wins was a 19-inning, 2-1 victory.
Nothing magical had to happen this weekend. LSU took care of business against a good team and should be commended for it. These wins combined with a decent showing in the SEC Tournament would put the Tigers in a good position to host a Super Regional. The Tigers will head to Columbia coming off three of their best wins of the season, not a lot more you can ask heading into the postseason.