BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 14/15 LSU (3-1) softball team split day two of the Tiger Classic with an 8-1 win over South Alabama (1-3) and a 3-2 loss against Central Arkansas (1-3) Saturday at Tiger Park.
Shelbi Sunseri and Georgia Clark combined for four home runs versus South Alabama, while Ali Kilponen earned her second win in the circle this season.
South Alabama struck first in the opening game, but Sunseri quickly tied it up in the bottom of the third with a towering dinger to center field. LSU would break the stalemate in the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff single from Danieca Coffey who advanced to second on a fielding error. Sydney Peterson was hit by a pitch and Ciara Briggs drew a walk, which set the stage for a two-RBI double down the right-field line from Taylor Pleasants, pushing the score to 3-1.
Sunseri cleared the bases with a three-run homer, and Clark immediately followed with a solo shot to center, making the score 7-1. Clark struck again in the bottom of the sixth with her second dinger of the game to left-center field to secure the Tigers’ 8-1 victory.
In the circle, Kilponen recorded her 19th career complete game and second on the season, striking out seven Jaguars while giving up one run on four hits.
To start the second game, freshman Raelin Chaffin took to the circle for the first time in her LSU career. She recorded her first strikeout in the top of the second inning.
Sunseri got the scoring started for the Tigers in the bottom of the third inning, doubling to left-center field, which scored Briggs, who singled to get on base. Briggs had three hits in the game, marking her 17th career multi-hit game.
Central Arkansas tied the game at one with a solo shot to right-center field. UCA took the lead in the top of the fifth after two straight passed balls, following a walk and single.
LSU rallied with two straight doubles in the bottom of the sixth from Clark and Ali Newland. The Tigers tied the game at two, but UCA responded with a one-run seventh, and LSU was unable to tack on the tying run in the bottom half of the inning.
Beth Torina Postgame Quotes
On the offensive output from the win over South Alabama…“Yeah, we did a good job in the first game. I think that’s the team that we want to see. That’s who we want to be, so now we’ve just got to show up and be that consistently.”
On the defensive struggles…“Yeah, I mean the kid threw a nice game against us, and we didn’t come up with a timely hit.”
Georgia Clark Postgame Quotes
On missed opportunities in game two…
“[Kayla Beaver] pitched a great game. She was throwing a little harder than we expected. We could have made adjustments a lot sooner, and we did not. It was a matter of time until our offense got rolling, and it kind of did towards the end, but we wish it would have happened earlier.”
On her multiple home runs in game one…
“I think we saw what she was trying to do to us, gameplan-wise. Shelbi [Sunseri] and I both bounced back well from our first couple of at-bats. We tried to in the second game, but it got too late, and it got away from us. But I think we saw the ball really well in the first game, and we’re super excited about that.”
LSU will conclude the Tiger Classic with a 10 a.m. CT game against Illinois, followed by a tentatively scheduled 12:30 p.m. CT game against Central Arkansas.
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