The Tigers finally got back on the winning side of SEC play, taking the series from Aggies in College Station, winning two of the three games.
Game one was a pitchers duel with the Tigers mounting a seventh inning comeback to take the first game 2-1. Shelby Wickersham got the ball, and although she allowed a first inning run, tossed 3.1 innings pitched with two strikeouts. She was relived by Ali Kilponen who closed out the game with six strikeouts.
The Tigers bat were very limited throughout the game but came through when it mattered most. Ali Newland got the offense going taking a 3-1 pitch over the wall for a solo home run. Raeleen Gutirez followed with a double to right center and after being replaced by Kennedi Houshmandzadeh as a pinch runner, advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jordyn Perkins would cash in on that opportunity, driving in Houshmandzadeh on a single to right field.
For all the pitching in game one, it was the offense who carried the day in game two, an 11-8 Tiger win. The star of the day was shortstop Taylor Perkins who went three-for-six, with all three hits being doubles, driving in six runs and scoring twice. The runners Perkins drove in the most frequently were Danieca Coffee and Ciara Briggs, who combined to reach base five times and also scored five times. Shelbi Sunseri, added a two-run home run to the scoring fest.
Although the Tigers won, the pitching was still a point of concern. The Tigers held a 8-0 lead after an inning and a half and an 11-6 lead after three. Neither pitcher, Sunseri who got the start, or Kilponen who came in relief were particularly effective with the Aggies clawing back and in the bottom of the seventh, having the tying run at the plate with a runner at second base. Ultimately the game ended right there but still not ideal for a team that is supposed to be anchored by its pitching.
The series finale saw the Tigers loose 5-4 as the pitching struggled for another game. Although the Tigers held a 2-1 lead after three and a half innings, the Aggies got to Raelin Chaffin, who allowed four runs in three innings pitched. Wickersham came in and allowed a run in her three innings of work. Pleasants again had a great day at the plate, going two-of-four including a home run in the top of the seventh, giving the Tigers a sign of life late in the game.
This isn’t the sexiest series win for the Tigers, but given the teams recent lack of good results, it is an outcome that was much needed. If nothing else it showed the Tigers ability to pickup one side of the ball if the other struggles. Even in the loss the Tigers at least had the tying run to the plate, although it never amounted to a run.
Up next LSU hosts South Carolina for three games in Tiger Park starting Thursday night.