LSU softball hasn’t always been known for their offensive play, but this season is changing everyone’s perspective of the Tigers.
The Tigers are usually known for pitching, which isn’t to be belittled, but this team’s power surge in hitting has led them to a 21-5 record. So far, LSU has gained 10 wins on a run-rule scenario. These games ended after the fifth inning with the exception of one, which ended in the sixth.
“I’m not surprised,” senior infielder Shemiah Sanchez said. “I knew people were going to be surprised because in past recent years, LSU wasn’t known as an offensive school. I think we’ve worked really hard in this offseason to get some of those power numbers.”
The Tigers opening weekend in Tiger Park from Feb. 7-10 ended with them sweeping the competition with six run-rule wins. Their first game versus Tulsa on Feb. 7 had an ending score of 19-1. The Tigers picked up 12 runs in the first inning alone. LSU coach Beth Torina previously mentioned that the team was working on their batting power in the offseason, and it is becoming very obvious how hard they’ve worked.
Sophomore pitcher Shelbi Sunseri has picked up 11 home runs alone, which is four more than her entire freshman season. Some of this power from the team is credited to the new Blast Motion technology they’ve been using. This sensor tracks different measurements such as launch angle, exit velocity and power.
“That’s helped tremendously,” Sunseri said. “It really shows our numbers and where we’re slacking or where we’re in a good place. If one of our numbers is low, we look at our other numbers and see if those are good. All of our numbers are going to be different because we’re different hitters. I think it helps to let our coaches know where we should be.”
The Tigers have put up 37 home runs this season. The power of the offense is undeniable. The team’s depth has helped in this area. LSU added graduate transfer Amanda Sanchez from Missouri. She has put up three home runs and 30 RBIs. Her patience for the right ball shows in her 13 walks she’s been given.
Its team members like Sunseri and Sanchez that give confidence to the others. If a player can get on a base, they have a high chance of scoring off someone else’s hit with this lineup. It really is a team effort and all pieces work together to pull out these mercy rule wins that ultimately encourage the team.
“It’s been great to see [this power],” junior outfielder Aliyah Andrews said. “It’s such a confidence booster. I just know I just need to get on base then somebody will move me or I’ll steal a base. So it’s just so reassuring for all of us to know that as long as we get on base, somebody’s going to do the job to get us in.”
LSU will be back in Tiger Park during the weekend of March 8-10 after the their first taste of SEC play against Texas A&M, where they went 3-1. The Tigers will host Troy on March 13 at 6 p.m.
“I think with the types of players that we have, we expected more from them,” Torina said. “Are they exceeding my expectations? Probably yes, but I have pretty high expectations.”