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Softball Takes Over First Place in SEC Standings

LSU takes two-of-three in Starkville.

Rebecca Warren \ LSUSports.net

The No. 7 Tigers picked up their fifth conference series win of the season defeating Mississippi State with two comeback wins, and took over sole possession of first place in the SEC standings.

Shemiah Sanchez was the standout performer over the weekend, with her biggest hit being a 2-run home run in the top of the seventh inning capping off a come-from-behind 5-3 Tiger win. The homer was the second of the game for Sanchez, and the third of the weekend picking up seven RBI in the process. The other standout performance came from Michaela Schlattman who had two home runs on the weekend going four-for-five with two runs scored.

Saturday’s game saw the Tigers trailing 9-7 entering the top of the seventh inning. The comeback started when Amanda Doyle hit her sixth home run of the season to bring the Tigers within one. Two batters later, Amber Serrett homered, following a Morgan Cummins double, to put LSU in front 10-9. Mississippi State would put the tying run on base with a double, but LSU’s pitchers would keep the runner from scoring to secure the win.

The lone stain on the weekend was a 6-0 loss in the opener, the first time the Tigers have been shutout this season. While the offense certainly shouldered some of the responsibility for the loss, the game was part of a forgettable weekend for the Tiger pitching staff. The top hurler of the series was Shelby Wickersham who threw seven total innings allowing three earned and four strikeouts. She was the only starter in the series to last more than four innings. Shelbi Sunseri lasted just two innings in her start on Friday, surrendering five runs and Maribeth Gorsuch left after 2.1 innings on Saturday, having allowed three runs.

It is difficult to complain too much about this series, as the Tigers came away victorious, though it is a bit eyebrow raising that an unranked Mississippi State team that, as of Monday, is in second to last place in the conference, really pushed the Tigers over the three games. There were multiple points in the series where momentum appeared to be swinging the way of Mississippi State, before someone stepped up to deliver a play in LSU’s favor. The path to a championship will have some kind of inconvenience. All things considered, the Tigers handled this one pretty well.

LSU kicks off a four-game homestand with McNeese on Tuesday, and then three games against No.14 Arkansas.