Tiger softball takes series with #7 Texas with doubleheader win Saturday
BATON ROUGE - After falling in game one, the No. 13/12 LSU Softball Team bounced back and claimed the final two games over No. 7 Texas on Saturday, claiming a 2-1 win in eight innings in game one and a 7-2 win in game two. The Tigers improve to 13-6 on the year, while Texas is now 10-2.
Next up, the Tigers will open up SEC play on the road, heading to Knoxville, Tennesse to face the Volunteers March 12-14.
It was a pitcher's duel in game two as the game was scoreless through three innings. Texas got on the board first in the top of the fourth on a home run to left field off LSU's starter Shelbi Sunseri.
Sunseri had the first hit for the Tigers in the second inning as she singled up the middle. Taryn Antoine came in to run for Sunseri but was picked off and the next two Tigers went down in order.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Taylor Pleasants hit a deep ball to centerfield but was robbed at the fence by Texas.
After a scoreless fifth, the Tigers tied the game up 1-1 on an RBI single from Andrews, scoring freshman Danieca Coffey, who doubled to right center with two outs.
The two teams went scoreless in the seventh pushing the game into extras, but the Tigers came up with the win in the bottom of the eighth. Tidwell led off with a hit-by-pitch. Akiya Thymes came into pinch run. She advanced to third on Andrews' single to left and scored on a fielding error by the left fielder.
Sunseri got the win in the circle, improving to 4-2 on the year. Andrews was 2-for-4 on the game with an RBI, while Sunser also pounded out two hits.
The Tigers offense exploded in the third game of the series as Sunseri blasted a two-run home run in the first inning. The Tigers tacked on another run in the second as Andrews brought in Taylor Tidwell to take a 3-0 lead. Pleasants followed with a two-run double, scoring Cait Calland and Andrews, giving the Tigers a 5-0 lead after two innings.
Andrews made it 6-0 in the fourth as he slapped a ball off the scoreboard in right field, her second career home run and her first outside-the-park. Cait Calland got on the home run train with her first career dinger over the left field wall.
Texas was able to score two runs, one in the sixth and one in the seventh but a final strikeout from Ali Kilponen gave the Tigers the win and the series.
Kilponen earned the win in the circle, improving to 2-2 on the year. She recorded six strikeouts on the night. Andrews went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Pleasants and Sunseri both tallied two RBI a piece.
On the momentum carried over from game 1 of the doubleheader…
"It was a really great day for our team. Two big team wins. A lot of people contributed. A lot of people did some really good things. Top to bottom, we had so many contributors that made it happen today. It was a big day for our program."
On winning the series against No. 7 Texas…
"Our team's going to continue to grow as the season goes on. They're very young, they haven't been in a lot of spots. I think there was a point today where we started five kids who have never played in an SEC game. This is a young team. Our best softball is in front of us. Our best softball is going to be at the end of the season. They are going to pick up steam as we go. I think they have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do. They're doing it. We've challenged them, and they've had no choice but to grow. We've forced them to be uncomfortable. They've had no choice but to work and grow through it. I think they're going to end up in a great spot at the end of the season."
On Aliyah Andrews' first "out of the park" homerun…
"It's so cool for so many reasons. It's cool because they had the shift and the ultimate shift beater is hit the ball out of the park, right? It's cool that that'll be the last shift she has to see after she's shown she's capable of doing things like that. It's the most special because she's worked so, so hard to make herself have this power, to make herself more diverse, so the people can't do what they were doing. They can't shift, they can't put everybody on one side of the field. She's worked so hard for that. She didn't just accidentally land here. She's earned that spot, so to see all that work pay off is an awesome moment for a coach."
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