Posted: May 31, 2012 10:19 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Fresh of its NCAA College Station Regional and Columbia Super Regional championships, the LSU softball team will appear in the program's third Women's College World Series Thursday when the Tigers face off with No. 1 national seed California.
First pitch is on-tap for 2:30 p.m. from the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN2 along with ESPN3.com with Pam Ward, Michele Smith and Holly Rowe serving as the broadcast team.
LSU (39-23) picked up 6-1 and 3-1 triumphs over No. 9 national seed Missouri in between a 5-1 defeat in 12 innings to punch its ticket to the WCWS. The Tigers became only the third team since 2005 in the current regional/super regional to reach the WCWS after knocking off two seeded teams on the road.
"We're thrilled and honored to be a part of this final eight," head coach Beth Torina said. "We're excited to be in Oklahoma City. The minute we set foot on the field for practice was something special. Our team is very excited to represent LSU on the biggest of stages."
California (56-5) is paced by Valerie Arioto, a USA Softball Player of the Year finalist. She has racked up a team-leading .385 batting average to go along with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs. In the circle, Arioto has posted a 20-3 record and a 1.32 ERA. She has tallied 155 strikeouts in her 127.0 innings of action.