The LSU softball season came to a close Friday night when Florida State beat the Tigers 4-3 in nine innings, allowing the Seminoles to take the best of three series 2-0 and sending them to the Women’s College World Series.
Like the game before, Friday’s game had the early makings of a pitchers’ duel with each pitcher putting up zeros through the first three innings. In the top of the third, the Tigers got their first runs of the series when Georgia Clark hit a two-run home run down the left field line against FSU starter Caylan Arnold putting LSU up 2-0.
After the Seminoles tied it in the seventh, Taylor Pleasants homered to left in the top of the eighth inning. Florida State responded with a home run of its own and then in the bottom of the ninth an RBI single scored Dani Morgan giving the Seminoles the game.
Florida State wasn’t known for being a particularly high powered offense but one that was plenty capable of scoring runs. The Noles scored one run in every inning from the sixth inning until the ninth, and although one of those hits was a home run, the scoring pattern confirmed that FSU was a much more productive offense in spite of the low stat totals.
Ali Kilponen pitched the entire game and pitched well enough to win. She allowed four runs, with the fourth being the walk-off run, on eight hits and two walks, striking out five.
The offensive leaders for the Tigers included Clark and Pleasants, each of whom had three hits. Aliyah Andrews also had a hit and Shelbi Sunseri reached base on a hit and a walk.
Ultimately though, this game will be looked back upon by what didn’t happen for the Tiger offense. Amanda Doyle, the cleanup hitter went 0-4. LSU’s six through nine hitters went a combined 1-for-13. Not good enough for a Super Regional.
A case could be made that Beth Torina should had removed Kilponen late in the game in favor of Sunseri, or another pitcher. However, against a not so potent lineup and with Kilponen effectively managing the FSU bats, it’s understandable why she was left in the game.
Friday’s loss marked the final game for Aliyah Andrews, Taryn Antoine, Amanda Doyle, Maribeth Gorsuch and Akiya Thymes. With the loss the Tigers have failed to advance to the Women’s College World series in their last three super regionals.