MINNEAPOLIS — LSU’s softball season came to an end Saturday in a 3-0 loss to Minnesota in the NCAA super regionals at
Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.
Amber Fiser (31-7) pitched a three-hit shutout for the win and LSU gave up key runs late as the Golden Gophers earned their first trip to the Women's College World Series.
LSU, which advanced to the super regionals for the sixth time in eight seasons, finished 43-19.
“I’m really proud of what we have as a program, of course, this didn’t go how we wanted it to go,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “I think the standard we’ve set for this program is something that I’m really proud of.”
The game was running at a firebrand pace compared to LSU’s 5-3 loss on Friday. Both starting pitchers made it clear that offense would come at a premium.
LSU pitcher Maribeth Gorsuch, who closed out Friday’s game, started Saturday and set the tone early by shutting out the Gophers (46-12) through four innings.
“To see her come out confident, it was really good to see,” senior Shemiah Sanchez said of Gorsuch.
Fiser kept pace with Gorsuch and got herself out of sticky situations with LSU runners on base. The Gophers pitcher regularly hit 71 mph on the radar gun, while mixing in a change-up.
“Fiser’s an amazing pitcher, she’s one of the best I’ve ever seen,” LSU senior Amanda Sanchez said. “She was just attacking the zone, she was mixing speeds which kept us off balance.”
Minnesota didn’t figure out Gorsuch until the late innings.
It started with a solo home run from Allie Arneson in the top of the fifth inning.
“It was definitely a great feeling,” Arneson said of her home run. “I think we loosened up after that.”
The Gophers added two more on Gorsuch in the seventh. After that third run was scored, Torina took out Gorsuch in favor of Shelbi Sunseri.
Gorsuch (13-4) finished her outing allowing three runs on seven hits on 97 total pitches.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers had one final chance to save their season.
Fiser was up to the task to prevent that, though, as she muscled through to the end of the game despite hitting Elyse Thornhill to put her on first base.
Fiser, the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, finished with 238 pitches combined in throwing two complete games.
LSU will lose four players from Saturday’s starting lineup to graduation as this season ends.
“I think there’s a lot of parity in the game this year,” Torina said. “We saw teams from all over the country, from all different conferences. … Minnesota’s a great school.”