The 2019 season for the LSU softball team came to an end Sunday, in a 3-0 loss to Minnesota in the Super Regional, with the Gophers clinching a spot in the Women’s College World Series finals in Oklahoma City. This is Minnesota’s first trip in program history to the WCWS finals.
Minnesota’s Amber Fiser was more dominant in game one than in game two, allowing three hits, three walks, and striking out seven. What chances LSU had were limited, with just two occasions where the Tigers had more than two runners on. The best chance to score came in the fifth when Taryn Antoine and Amanda Sanchez advanced to third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch, only for Shelbi Sunseri to pop out to the catcher to end the inning. The Tigers went 0-11 with runners on and 0-5 with runners in scoring position.
Maribeth Gorsuch had a solid game in the circle, going 6.2 innings allowing three earned on seven hits with five strikeouts. Sunseri recorded the final out of the seventh inning.
The loss concludes what was mostly a rough stretch for the Tigers in the back part of the season, going just 3-11 in the final 14 games played. The last stretch of games seemed very different from the team that boasted a dominant offense throughout the season, won its first six SEC series and was poised to win the SEC regular season title.
Focus now turns to the off-season. LSU has seven seniors on the roster, including three starting infields, Amanda Sanchez, Amber Serrett, and Shemiah Sanchez. Elyse Thornhill is also set to graduate, having shown versatility in her defensive assignments and emerged as one of LSU’s top bats this past season.
Although the season did not end the season with a title, the Tiger exceeded outside expectations considering the uncertainty with the losses of Carley Hoover and Allie Walljasper. After being picked to finish sixth in the pre-season conference poll, ultimately finishing in third, ahead of four of the five teams ranked higher than the Tigers in the initial voting. Sunday’s outcome is an unfortunate mark on an otherwise excellent 2019 season.