By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
The LSU Softball team, ranked #11 in the Nation, won their season opener Thursday night 3-2 against a very good Central Arkansas team at Tiger Park.
The Tigers fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, as the Bears would push a unearned run across the plate. LSU would go three up-three down in their half of the inning.
Game winning pitcher, Shelbi Sunseri, would respond strongly in the top of the second, taking down the Bears in order quickly. The Tigers would begin their rally when lead off batter, Georgia Clark would draw a walk. Akiya Thymes would be inserted to pinch run for Clark. Amanda Doyle would then rip a double down the right field line, scoring Thymes from first base, tying the game at 1-1. After Taylor Tidwell was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second, Junior outfielder, Taryn Antoine hit a hard grounder to short stop. The Bears would commit a throwing error, allowing Doyle to score, giving LSU the lead, 2-1.
After no scoring in the top of the third inning, The Tigers headed into the bottom of the inning looking to add to their lead. After Savannah Stewart and Shelbi Sunseri would both fly out, Georgia Clark would smash her first career home run as a Tiger, increasing the LSU lead to 3-1 after three....
The game would remain scoreless until the top of the sixth inning as Central Arkansas would push another unearned run, (helped by a couple of LSU errors), across the plate to pull to within 3-2. We would go to the final inning as the Tigers were unable to score in the sixth.
Ali Kilponen would come into the game to relieve Sunseri. Kilponen would earn her first career save, as she would get the final three outs, (a pop out, then back-to-back strike outs). Starting pitcher, Shelbi Sunseri pitched six strong innings, allowing six hits, and two unearned runs. The Tigers are now 1-0, while with the loss, the Bears fall to 0-1.
Up next the Tigers will host the "Tiger Classic" this weekend. LSU will play #13 Oklahoma State on Friday at 6pm. Get your tickets and come out to Tiger Park to cheer on this exciting Tigers Softball Team.
Coach Torina's Press Conference::::
On getting the first win of the season …
"I think it's really important. We did some things to make sure we could do that. We ran Akiya Thymes there in the second inning, which we don't normally do. Let's get that first run across, knock that thing out."
On getting the nerves out with a young infield …
"I think we're going to get better as the season goes. You're going to see a lot of growth as the season goes on. I think it's a good start. We saw a lot of good things. Obviously we have a bunch of ways we can get better and to me that's hopeful. We got things to do, we got ways to get better and we're going to keep doing that."
On swinging the bat well and only getting three hits …
"Yeah I thought we swung the bat well. I think there were some opportunities that we missed, but again, we've got plenty of things that we can do better. I think it was better than that number shows."
On Georgia's performance tonight …
"That was awesome. Georgia's (Clark) ball was as hard a hit ball as I feel like I've ever seen. I had no idea that was going to get out. It was fun to see her do that. It was good to get, not a monkey off her back, but she knows that's her job, to hit for power for us. Good for her to produce for us in the first game."
On Shelby and Ali's performance …
"I think they both did their job and they did it perfectly. You know I think that Shelbi's (Sunseri) job is to go out and be our leader and to carry us. She's going to be our one that's wracking up wins. I think that's why we have an Ali (Kilponen) to come in and shut the door like that. That's the way you shut the door. That was really impressive the way she came in the game. "
By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!