The LSU softball fans will get to the see the Tigers play at least twice as many games in the NCAA Baton Rouge regional as they did in the Southeastern Conference tournament last week.
The No. 5 national seed Tigers begin play in the double-elimination regional against Texas Southern at 6 p.m. Friday at Tiger Park. Arizona State and Nebraska meet in the opener at 3:30 p.m.
Tiger Park was also the site of the single-elimination SEC tournament and the Tigers were one and done after a 7-5 loss to Tennessee in the quarterfinals May 7.
“I’m excited that we get another chance to play in front of our fans,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “We had such a great crowd (last week) and I honestly felt bad for them that we didn’t get it done for them. So I’m so thankful to have another opportunity to compete in front of them.”
If the Tigers, who can play anywhere from two to four games in the regional, advance they will host a super regional next weekend.
Scouting report, just in case
If LSU winds up playing Arizona State, Torina may have some help with the scouting report from freshman pitcher Carley Hoover, who was injured at Stanford last season and kept busy by charting every game.
“I was so upset that I couldn’t play that I had this huge notebook of like every single batter,” Hoover said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to win the Pac 12 last year,’ but now I’m here. I actually still have that notebook, so we’ll see. I might be a step ahead of the game.”
The Sun Devils won two out of three at Stanford, taking the first two games by the run rule (20-0 in five innings and 16-6 in six innings) before the Cardinal avoided a sweep with a 4-2 win in nine innings.
The top three seeds — LSU, Arizona State and Nebraska — have been nearly annual participants in the NCAA tournament in recent years. The Sun Devils are making their 11th consecutive trip and 27th overall to the tournament. They’ve been to seven Women’s College World Series since 2006, winning two.
The Huskers are in the tournament for the 19th time in 21 seasons and 23rd time overall. They went to the WCWS in 2013.
The Tigers are playing in their 10th consecutive NCAA tournament and 17th overall. They were in the WCWS in 2012.
Though fourth-seeded Texas Southern doesn’t have a long NCAA tournament history, it has had notable success recently. Both of the Tigers’ NCAA appearances have come in the last two seasons after winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament title.
TSU is the only team in this regional to have won a conference championship this season.
Tigers coach Worley Barker was born in Lake Charles and grew up in Houston.