BATON ROUGE, La. – Seventh-ranked LSU (35-20) took the winner-take-all game, 8-5, over UL-Lafayette (47-12) to win the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional and advance to a Super Regional for the ninth time in school history.
The win over the Ragin’ Cajuns marked the sixth straight Super Regional appearance and seventh under head coach Beth Torina. The regional title was the 11th in school history.
“I am just really proud of this team, all 28 of them,” head coach Beth Torina said. “I am proud of my staff too. They prepare better than anyone else in the country, and I think that is the secret to our success this time of year. They are just the absolute best at it. I am excited to move on and host next week.
“I think the entire team grew up out there today, but no one grew up more than Ali Kilponen. She hadn’t been in a big moment like that and never had the ball in that situation. She lived up to the bill and then some. She withstood the test after they pushed her out of her comfort zone. She responded every time.”
LSU will face Florida State in the Super Regional next weekend at Tiger Park. Dates, times and TV networks will be announced at a later date. This will be the third time the Tigers and Seminoles will face off with a bid to the Women’s College World Series on the line. LSU took the first series in 2017 and FSU punched its ticket to OKC in 2018.
The Tigers were forced to play in the seventh game of the weekend after the Ragin’ Cajuns took the early game, 2-0.
Ali Kilponen (15-8) earned the win to clinch the regional for the Tigers.
First baseman George Clark made plays at the plate and in the field. She was 2-for-2 on the day with five RBI and a walk.
ULL struck first with a solo home run by Ciara Bryan on the first pitch.
LSU responded in the second to take a 2-1 lead. After leadoff singles by Aliyah Andrews and Ciara Briggs, Clark hit a two out, two RBI single up the middle.
Taylor Pleasants hit a solo home run in the third to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
LSU put up a four spot in the fifth inning. Andrews scored on a sac fly to shallow right field for her 195th career run, which puts her third in LSU history. Clark followed with a three-run home run to center field to make it a 7-1 game.
UL-Lafayette cut into the LSU lead in the sixth on a two-run home run by pinch hitter Bailey Curry.
In the opening game of the day, the Ragin’ Cajuns scored two runs off of Kilponen. Jade Gortarez hit a double to left-center in the third inning.
Kandra Lamb split the day in the circle and ended her season at 17-5 overall. She limited the Tigers to no runs on three hits and struck out five in the opening game. In game two, she gave up three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings.
(Press release provided by LSU Athletics).