LSU coach Beth Torina likes the energy Maribeth Gorsuch brings in the circle.
That's why she called on the junior pitcher to start the first game of the Baton Rouge Regional against Monmouth — which the Tigers won 2-0
"I thought MB stepped up for us and brought a lot of energy today," Torina said. "She's a leader for us and our most veteran pitcher. She's a fist pumper and a high energy kid. She's super passionate and I thought our team needed that today."
Gorsuch said she worked all week on spinning the ball and moving the ball through the zone in preparation for this weekend's regional. She pitched a complete game shutout — her seventh of the season — allowing five hits, not earned runs along with five strikeouts.
The LSU offense brought that same energy behind her. The two teams were in a stalemate until the bottom of the fourth innings when the Tigers broke it open.
Shemiah Sanchez hit a double over the Monmouth left fielder's head — her second hit of the game — and freshman left fielder Savannah Stewart hit a two-out RBI single through the infield to give LSU the lead.
Stewart had a great day on both sides of the field, with the go-ahead RBI single and a diving catch out in left field. She also had a throw through the cutoff at home to get the runner out and prevent Monmouth from scoring.
"It's nice to have a player do that, it's really nice to have a freshman do that," Torina said. "She's a very clutch player. She is a big game type of player. We saw that during the recruiting process and we've proven to be right in that."
Sanchez also had one of her best days at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two singles and a double.
Senior shortstop Amber Serrett extended LSU's lead with an opposite field solo home run in the sixth inning.
"I was just trying to put a good swing on the ball," Serrett said. "After my first at bat, I knew that I could hit something hard. I was looking for that curveball away. I fouled one off earlier in the at bat. She pitched me again and I was able to stay on it."
Torina emphasized how the strength of Monmouth pitcher Alyssa Irons in the circle and her ability to mix speeds would be difficult for the LSU offense, but the Tigers were able to get into a rhythm and put balls in play.
It was important for the Tigers to get a win against a quality opponent and pitcher as they kick off postseason play.
"I was really proud of our team tonight," Torina said. "I though it was a lot of really nice individual performances, but overall the most important thing is that LSU was able to find a win today against a quality opponent.
"At this point, every win is important. Every win is huge. It's not about any one person, it's about the team and winning for LSU. It's really important that we stay together and try to play LSU softball and fight for LSU.