LSU Sports Information
By: Chelsey Chamberlain
BATON ROUGE – The LSU softball team secured two wins Saturday night in Tiger Park to close out the LSU Invitational. The Tigers defeated No. 9 ULL 3-2, and Buffalo 7-1. The Tigers improve to 10-5 on the season, while ULL falls to 9-1 and Buffalo moves to 0-8.
The Tigers are set to square up in a midweek match up against Southern Miss on Tuesday at 6 p.m. This game will stream on SEC Network+ and will be available via live stats.
The Tigers got on the board first in game one. In the bottom of the third, Aliyah Andrews slapped a two out single then added a stolen base to move herself into scoring position. Taylor Pleasants drove in Andrews with a single up the middle and the Tigers took a 1-0 lead over ULL.
The Cajuns were able to plate a run in the top of the third and the Tigers made the change in the circle to Maribeth Gorsuch. UL-Lafayette was able to plate another run and loaded the bases, but the Tigers got out of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Georgia Clark crushed a solo shot over the left field wall to tie the score at two.
In the bottom of the sixth, Briggs laid down a bunt. The Cajuns threw the ball away and Briggs came all the way around to score what would end up being the winning run.
In the top of the seventh the Cajuns were able to put a runner on with one out and the Tigers went to Ali Kilponen in the circle to close the game out. Kilponen and the Tigers recorded the final two outs to secure the win.
Andrews went 2-for-3 in the box, while Pleasants and Briggs both went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Clark also went 1-for-3 in game one with a solo homerun.
Gorsuch recorded the win for the Tigers and moves to 2-0 on the season. Kilponen earned her first save on the season when she entered in the seventh to close out the game.
Andrews got things going in the bottom of the first with a single. She stole second and would come around to score on Pleasants double.
Buffalo would tie the game up in the next inning on a solo shot over the left field wall but that was it as Morgan Smith and the Tigers shut down the Bulls the rest of the way.
In the home half of the second, Tidwell laid down a bunt and followed with a stolen base and was plated on an Andrews double up the middle. The Tigers took the lead back 2-1 over Buffalo.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers loaded the bases with one out and Taylor Pleasants plated a runner on a deep sacrifice fly to centerfield.
The Tigers were able to add explosive offense in the bottom of the sixth. Anna Jones led off with a
bunt single and stole second. Andrews grabbed another infield single, and Pleasants walked to load the bases. Amanda Doyle hit a deep sacrifice fly to plate Jones from third. Akiya Thymes laid down a bunt that forced a Buffalo error to plate Andrews. Raeleen Gutierrez laced a single to the right center gap that scored two, increasing the Tigers' lead to 7-1.
Morgan Smith was able to close out the game in the circle and secure the 7-1 victory for the Tigers. Smith moves to 2-0 on the season. She recorded three strikeouts on the game.
Andrews went 4-for-4 with a double and one RBI and a combined 6-for-7 on the day. Briggs was 2-for-4 with a double, while Pleasants was 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI. Gutierrez went 1-for-1 with two RBI.
Thoughts on the Briggs game winning bunt against ULL…
"I've seen things like that, but I haven't seen anything bounce like that in Tiger Park before. You kind of hate to see a game like that come to an end on a play like that, but we'll take the win any way we can get. I think it was a huge game for us to kind of get our mentality back to where it needs to be going forward in the season."
Thoughts on the difficult schedule from this past week…
"I really hope that come the end of May we are the most prepared team in the country, we've played these huge teams early on, but I think at the end of the day it is really going to pay off for us. I've tried to talk to my team telling them they're not going to hit .450 right now against these types of teams but what we want is a W in the win column at the end of the day, so I believe it's going to pay off for us in the long run."
On Aliyah Andrews…
"You just can't say enough about Aliyah. The third catch in the ULL game, I never thought that was going to be something that she could catch, I thought it was a base hit all the way. She's a great leadoff hitter and probably one of the best centerfielders in the country."
On Maribeth against the Cajuns…
"She's our leader and when she's out there she gets us to compete. We have a lot of young people out there on the field, six or seven that have never started an SEC game. Maribeth makes us calm and makes us feel safe and I think she's a great leader for us out there on the field."