Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Communications
By: Keonte Herrera
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 18 LSU’s pitching staff owned day two of the Tiger Classic after defeating Utah, 2-1 and shutting out Central Arkansas, 1-0 Saturday at Tiger Park.
LSU improves its record to 9-0 and now has four shutouts this season. The Tigers’ arms registered a 0.00 ERA behind 15 strikeouts in 14.0 innings. They also held opposing batters to a .180 batting average.
Graduate pitcher Ali Kilponen collected her third win of the season to break into the top ten in wins in program history, while sophomore pitcher Raelin Chaffin recorded her second win of the season. Freshman pitcher Sydney Berzon earned her third save of the season.
“I think we have shown we can win in a lot of different ways,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “Today was the pitchers’ day so I’m glad that we showed up.”
In a day highlighted by pitching and defense, infielder Danieca Coffey was a bright spot offensively for LSU. She went 3-for-5 on the day, scoring the sole run against Central Arkansas (7-1). Infielder Karli Petty joined Coffey as the only Tigers with multiple hits, posting two hits on the night.
Outfielder McKenzie Redoutey led the team in RBIs with two, both coming on a two-RBI double that helped secure the win vs. Utah (6-3). Infielder Taylor Pleasants tacked on the only other RBI of the night, and made a game-saving play in the shutout win over UCA.
Chaffin started in the circle putting in 4.1 innings of work. She tallied four strikeouts and allowed one run and one walk before Berzon relieved her. Berzon logged three strikeouts in 2.2 innings pitched and recorded her third save of the season.
Redoutey doubled to left center field that brought home two runs, proving to be the game-winning hit in the second inning. Petty went 2-for-3 from the dish, turning in her fourth multiple-hit game this season and increased her hitting streak to four.
Utah plated one run in the top of the fifth, but Berzon went on to retire the final six batters she faced, including three strikeouts in the sixth frame to secure the 2-1 win.
Kilponen won her third game of the young season and now has 47 career wins which is tied for 10th all time with Cody Trahan (2007-2010). Kilponen tossed a complete game shutout, totaling eight strikeouts and holding the Sugar Bears to a .125 batting average in a 1-0 victory.
Coffey recorded her 30th career multi-hit game at LSU with hits in the fourth and sixth inning. She also tacked on the only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth frame on an RBI from Pleasants.
From the fifth inning on, Kilponen struck out three batters and gave up just two hits and one walk to close the game. It was Kilponen’s second shutout in four appearances this season.
LSU will conclude the Tiger Classic on Sunday with a game against Central Arkansas at 12:30 p.m. at Tiger Park.