LSU takes care of Southern Illinois and sweeps through the softball region – Crescent City Sports

BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 11 LSU hit a season-high three homers and recorded its 15th shutout of the season in a 9-0 five-inning win over Southern Illinois at Tiger Park on Sunday, sending LSU to the NCAA Super Regionals were sent for the first time since 2021.

LSU, which has won five of its last six games, improves its record to 43-15, while Southern Illinois finishes its season at 44-11.

“I am so proud of this team and these seniors,” said head coach Beth Torina. “This senior class did everything right. I told them right after the game that this moment was deserved and deserved for the way they behaved. Our fans were amazing in the way they treated her in that final moment here at Tiger Park. They deserve these moments because they did so many things so right. To see Taylor [Pleasants] To end up here at Tiger Park the way she did makes everyone in the stands and me extremely happy because she deserves it. She was the most incredible representative of this program anyone could ask for. To see her end like that and see the last ball find Ciara Briggs’ glove, you couldn’t imagine it better.”

LSU will make its 10th Super Regional appearance after winning its first regional championship since 2021. The Tigers are now 65-31 all-time in NCAA Regionals.

Lynch improved to 9-2 on the mound and posted her sixth complete game shutout of the year and 10th of her career. Lynch fanned six batters and allowed one hit and one walk in the run-rule win. The Tigers gave up one run in 19.0 innings in the 2024 Baton Rouge Regional.

“I think Kelley Lynch was incredible today,” coach Torina said. “I knew watching the film that she was the best opponent against SIU. Luckily, Sydney Berzon is talented and can keep up with anyone we play, but I knew Kelley would have a lot of success. I also think the brighter the lights are, the better she feels. She is built for these moments. The day she decided to join this team was a lucky day for our program.”

SIU pitcher Maddia Groff (30-5) was handed the loss after allowing five runs on three hits, two walks and no strikeouts in 1.1 innings.

Six LSU starters recorded hits, led by second baseman Karli Petty's 2-for-2 outing with two runs and two RBIs, including her fifth home run of the year and ninth as an LSU Tiger. Shortstop Taylor Pleasants hit her 10th round-tripper of the season and had a team-high three RBIs, and catcher Maci Bergeron hit her third home run of the season and had two ribbies, accounting for the Tigers' three longballs. Outfielder Ciara Briggs and first baseman Raeleen Gutierrez each contributed RBIs in the win.

After Lynch shut the team out in the first half of the inning, Gutierrez set the tone offensively for LSU with an RBI double, giving the home team a 1-0 lead after the first inning.

The LSU hitters erupted in the second stanza, with the Tigers scoring five runs on three hits. Petty laced a ball into right field for an RBI single, and Briggs took advantage of a bases-loaded situation by scoring a runner with a sacrifice fly. Pleasants entered the plate with two runners still on base and got a two-out dinger on the first pitch that extended LSU's lead to 6-0.

The Fighting Tigers added three runs in the third inning thanks to Bergeron's two-run home run and Petty's solo shot, increasing LSU's lead to 9-0.

After a leadoff walk in the first inning, the LSU defense dominated the Salukis, retiring 14 batters in a row until SIU got its only hit of the contest in the fifth inning.


LSU will face the winner of the Stanford Regional in a best-of-three series May 23-25. No. 8 national seeds Stanford and Cal State Fullerton are participants in the Stanford Regional Finals.

Anna Harden

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