After a slow start, a big fifth inning pushed LSU past Texas A&M in a 4-1 win that capped off a 2-1 series win for the Tigers.
Ali Kilponen was huge for the LSU in the circle, pitching a complete game and posting nine strikeouts. Despite the home plate umpire calling what many fans and coaches believed was a tight strike zone, Kilponen did a great job locating her pitches and retiring batters.
“I just kept trusting myself and my defense on a night like this,” Kilponen said on her performance. “We just tried to get outs and focus on that.”
Texas A&M got on the board first in the second inning after an RBI single by Ashlynn Walls, but after that LSU and Kilponen were able to keep the A&M bats quiet. LSU allowed just one hit the rest of the game and that resistance led to the Tigers putting together a rally in the fifth inning that would end up securing the win.
The Tigers started the fifth inning with two walks that led to an RBI single by Aliyah Andrews that tied the game at one. Following the single from Andrews, LSU scored two more runs on a passed ball that scored Cait Calland and a wild pitch followed by an error on the throw to the plate that scored Andrews and Taylor Pleasants. Andrews would be the hero once again for the Tigers as her tremendous season continues, and she believes that the win came down to her team trusting themselves.
“I think we just have to trust ourselves a little more,” Andrews said. “We have great hitters. We know we’re going to make it work.”
Even with the four-run seventh inning, the LSU bats were relatively quiet in this game. LSU only registered two hits all game and did not get its first hit until a single from Pleasants in the fourth inning. Despite this, the Tigers were excellent on the base paths and got the hits when they needed to put together a late rally.
This was a huge momentum-building win for the Tigers as they begin the conference schedule with a series win. The win also gives the team plenty of confidence, proving that it can compete with the best in the conference and rally when things are not going its way. The Tigers lost a close one to Texas A&M on Saturday to start the series, but they battled back in the next two games to show plenty of mental toughness, which is key in a tough conference like the SEC.
Head Coach Beth Torina was pleased with the fight her team showed over the weekend and believes that the series win will be a huge confidence booster for her team going forward.
“I think it’s the confidence of knowing that if we have outs left, we have a chance to win,” Torina said talking about what her team gained from this game and series.
This was a huge win for the LSU to secure its first series win in SEC play. The Tigers will be back in action in Tiger Park on Wednesday to take on South Alabama at 6:30 p.m. CT.