Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Communications
By: Keonte Herrera
BATON ROUGE, La. - No. 11/15 LSU (42-15) will go into the final day of the Baton Rouge Regional in the winner’s bracket after shutting out UL-Lafayette (47-14), 4-0 Saturday afternoon at Tiger Park.
In her first NCAA Tournament appearance, freshman pitcher Sydney Berzon tossed a complete game shutout to improve to 14-7 in the circle. Berzon struck out four batters while allowing no runs on five hits and one walk. Saturday was the 23rd NCAA Tournament shutout for the LSU pitching staff and marked the first solo shutout in an NCAA postseason game for an LSU pitcher since Carley Hoover in 2015. Berzon now has 10 complete games and four shutouts this season.
“I am proud of the effort from our entire team. The big home run early really set the tone. I debated this pitching decision down to the wire but made the right choice. Sydney Berzon was absolutely incredible today. She’s been incredible for us all year, and I’m just proud to be her coach. She’s made me love being in the bullpen every second this year. It was a great day for Sydney Berzon and the defense. They were both incredible. Just really proud of the effort.”
Junior infielder Danieca Coffey led the team in hits, going 3-for-3 with a run scored. Junior catcher Ali Newland went 1-for-2 from the plate with two RBIs and sophomore outfielder McKenzie Redoutey hit her sixth home run of the season in the win. Juniors Ciara Briggs and Taylor Pleasants also logged hits in the game, and Briggs drove in one run.
UL-Lafayette’s pitcher Sam Landry (18-5) earned the loss and was relieved after 2.1 innings after allowing four runs on five hits. Freshman pitcher Chloe Riassetto entered the circle in the third inning, where she struck out two batters and gave up two hits but no runs in 2.2 innings before being relieved by senior pitcher Karly Heath, who pitched 1.0 innings and struck out one batter.
Berzon shut down the Ragin’ Cajuns for the first two innings before Redoutey put the Tigers in front with a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the second inning.
Berzon retired the side in order in the top of the third inning, and the Tigers’ offense rode that momentum by plating three runs in the bottom of the frame. Coffey got on base via a single and stole second on the first pitch of Briggs’ at-bat before Briggs slapped a ball up the middle to score Coffey. Pleasants gave LSU its third straight hit, advancing both runners to second and third with one out. Two batters later, Newland snuck one by the third baseman for a two-run double to take a 4-0 lead through three innings.
The rest of the game was a pitcher’s duel that held both teams scoreless, and Berzon allowed only four base runners over the last four innings.
LSU will take the field at 1 p.m. CT on Sunday in the regional final. The Tigers’ opponent has yet to be determined.