By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: Facing elimination after falling 1-0 on Thursday night, the Lady Tigers will look to pull out a win on Friday to stay alive and force a game three, winner take all contest on Saturday.
Game two of this Baton Rouge Super Regional began like Thursday night's game one, a low scoring pitcher's battle. Both starters in the circle, Ali Kilponen of LSU and FSU's Caylan Arnold would keep hitters under control through the first three innings.
The Tigers would be the first of these two softball giants to awaken as Taylor Pleasants would leadoff the top of the 4th with a single to left field. After a Amanda Doyle fly out, Georgia Clark would step to the plate looking to ignite her team and the Tiger Park crowd. That she did with a two run home run over the left field wall.
Kilponen remained smoking hot in the circle as she would put the Seminoles hitters down in order, three up-three down, as we would head to the 5th inning with the Tigers up 2-0.
LSU would mount a threat in the top of the 5th inning as they would put runners on first and second with only one out. FSU coach Lonni Alameda would go to the bullpen, bringing in Danielle Watson to replace the struggling Arnold. Watson would record the final two outs to get out of the jam.
Ali Kilponen continued her dominance as she would pitch her 5th straight scoreless inning, sending us to the 6th with the Tigers still on top 2-0.
Florida State would plate a run in the bottom of the 6th inning. Sydney Sherrill would draw a leadoff base on balls, then would advance to second on a ground out. Elizabeth Mason's single up the middle would score Sherrill, cutting the LSU lead to 2-1.
FSU pitcher Danielle Watson continued to pitch fantastic in relief as the LSU hitters would go three up-three down sending us to the bottom of the 7th inning.
Ali Kilponen remained in the game to try and hold off the Seminoles and protect the LSU one run lead. Devyn Flaherty would leadoff with a single up the middle sending the winning run to the plate. Dani Morgan would then hit a infield single putting runners at first and second with no outs.
Anna Shelnutt would then lay down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up. With runners on second and third, Flaherty would score from third on a pass ball to tie the game, 2-2.
On a second straight bunt attempt, LSU first baseman, Raeleen Gutierrez charged towards home, would field the ball and
quickly toss it to catcher Morgan Cummings for the huge out at the plate. A pop out would end the 7th to send us to extra innings all knotted up at 2-2.
Taylor Pleasants would quickly give the Tigers the lead back as she would launch a one out, solo homerun over the left field wall, her 13th dinger of the season. The solo shot would be all the Tigers could produce, sending us to the bottom of the 8th with LSU up, 3-2.
We would start the bottom of the 8th needing three outs for force a game three. Kilponen would get the first two FSU hitters to quickly pop out. But Elizabeth Mason would step up and blast a homerun to left field to keep the contest going, tied at 3-3.
Kilponen and the Tigers would record the final out to send us to inning number nine...
Sunseri would leadoff the top of the inning with a walk. But Watson was able to battle to get the next three LSU hitters out.
Dani Morgan would get things going for FSU with a one out single up the middle. Shelnutt would then draw a base on balls putting the winning run in scoring position. Kierstern Landers would pinch hit and come through with a single down the left field line to score the winning run for the Seminoles.
FSU will now move on to the Women's College World Series as LSU's season comes to a disappointing finish.
“I am as proud today as any day to be the coach of the LSU Tigers,” Head Coach Beth Torina said. “I am not emotional because we lost. I am emotional because of this senior class and what they’ve been through. This team has been through so much adversity and still played a game like this. I am proud of this team and proud to lead this team. I know for sure that when our team is in this spot again that we will win. We had kids in these crucial spots tonight that have never been here. They’ll never do these things wrong again. I feel confident in our players. This will fuel them, and they will go to work. Next time we are in this spot, we will win. I am confident about that.”
LSU finishes the 2021 season with a 35-22 overall record...