LSU Sports Information
By: Judy Willson
BATON ROUGE – The No. 15 LSU softball team defeated Louisiana-Monroe, 7-5 Tuesday night at home in Tiger Park, making this Head Coach Beth Torina’s 400th win at LSU. The Tigers improve to 19-11 on the season while ULM falls to 10-14 on the year.
The Tigers will turn back to conference play starting Thursday for a three-game series against Ole Miss in Tiger Park. Thursday and Friday’s games will begin at 6 p.m. and Saturday’s game at 1 p.m.
Quick defense by both teams resulted in a scoreless first. LSU’s Georgia Clark got things started in the second with a homer to left field. With bases loaded in the bottom of the second, walks from Aaliyah Andrews and Taylor Pleasants scored Raeleen Gutierrez and Morgan Smith.
A single up the middle from Amanda Doyle made time for her to advance to second on the throw and send Andrews and Taylor Tidwell home to close out the inning 5-0.
In the third, the Warhawks get a couple of runners on base but were held down in a double play from the Tigers, and both teams come out of the inning scoreless. The Warhawks got three runs on the board in the fourth, before the Tigers opt for a pitching change from Morgan Smith to Ali Kilponen.
Kilponen posted a three up, three down to top off the fifth. LSU loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth and added two runs on a single from Andrews to score Hayden Brown and Tidwell, 7-3.
The Warhawks were able to push two more runs across in the top of the seventh for the final, 7-5.
Kilponen earned the win in the circle for the Tigers with three strikeouts on the night and improved to 6-4 on the year. Andrews had a solid night at the plate with one run scored and three RBI, while Doyle contributed to two-run homer.
On her 400th win at LSU…
“It's awesome, and it's cool for a lot of reasons to know that the same staff, Lindsey (Leftwich), Howard (Dobson), Quinlan (Duhon) were working for every single one of them is amazing, and then, think about all the women that contributed to this program that just really lived and died for purple and gold. I didn't play in any of the games, all I did was sit back and watch and play. We've had some phenomenal women that have done some amazing things for this program and truly given their heart and soul, so it's been awesome to be a part of. Hope we can get 400 more here at LSU. I'd love to watch them play for 400 more.”
On building after Tuesday’s win…
“I would think that it's something to build on. I think we had some good at-bats. I think we had some good moments, I think, a game like this is always tough coming off the road. A short turnaround. And you know SEC series, I think, it's always tough so I think a win’s a win. I think we saw a lot of really good things that our kids can feel good about that they can build on.
I thought the defense was sloppy at times and we just need to slow down and think that we need to get some reps tomorrow, have a good practice for the weekend. But overall I think, you know it's a win to put in our pocket and move on to Ole Miss.”
On Morgan Smith…
“I think she's super talented. I think she hasn't been out there as much as we would like. We wish that we had more opportunities for her, she's really talented. The last time she's been in a live game is what, I mean how long has it been since she's been in a game against live hitters? We've tried to simulate it in practice but it's not the same, I would imagine it's one of the longest times in her life, you know that she hasn’t been in a live game and we just need to get her out there more and she's gonna be just fine. She's a super, super talented athlete, unbelievable what she's capable of, so you know when you look at her, hopefully, you see the future of the program and it looks really bright. She had two really good at-bats too, you know, was able to draw two walks. I like what we saw from her. Yeah, she needs to be better, of course, we all do, but she's a freshman and we got to get her out there more.”
On future milestones...
“We want to win the World Series. I never know any of these milestones until they happen. It’s the last thing I’m ever thinking about. I’m watching film, trying to get hitters out, and trying to figure out how to best prepare a team. But the biggest milestone we want to win is a National Championship.”