After three days and five games at the Tiger Classic, the LSU softball team remains undefeated, having mercy-ruled Iowa and Bucknell on Saturday night at Tiger Park.
LSU's dynamic offense slightly slowed down in a 10-0 win over Bucknell, the Tigers' second game of the day. LSU took a little longer to score, not putting up its first run of the game until in the third inning.
Outfielder Aliyah Andrews led off with a single off Bucknell pitcher Lauren Lichtenwalner, and infielder Amanda Sanchez later walked. Designated player Shelbi Sunseri hit an RBI single up the middle to score Andrews from second base.
The Tigers then let it all out in the fourth inning, putting up nine runs on seven hits.
Catcher Michaela Schlattman opened the inning with a single and shortstop Amber Serrett reached on a fielding error, and it snowballed from there.
Outfielder Elyse Thornhill and Serrett both hit two-run RBI doubles in the fourth inning.
Thornhill went 3-for-3 with a single, two doubles and four RBIs.
“We really tried to work on controlling what we could control after (Lichtenwalner) was quick-pitching us at the beginning,” Thornhill said. “I was just finding something on my side of the plate and going after it.”
The defense continued to handle its end of the bargain. Freshman pitcher Ali Kilponen shined in her college debut, pitching a two-hit shutout with six strikeouts. The freshman struck out the side in the first inning.
“I’m just relieved,” Kilponen said. “It was the first game and I was a little nervous because it was a different atmosphere and different fans and players. I was facing another team that wasn’t mine. I was completely comfortable after the first inning knowing I had my team behind me.”
In the earlier game, a 16-1 mercy-rule win over Iowa, LSU was dominant early.
Andrews started with a leadoff walk. A single to left-center by infielder Amanda Doyle advanced Andrews and an errant throw sent her home to give LSU an early 1-0 lead
LSU added five more runs in the second inning.
Sunseri led off with a walk, and infielder Amber Serrett followed with a single up the middle. Catcher Morgan Cummins hit an infield single, and Andrews walked again to load bases.
Then the dam broke. Outfielder Taryn Anotine hit an RBI triple, while Doyle and Amanda Sanchez hit RBI doubles. LSU took a 6-0 lead going into the third inning.
Iowa finally got on the board in the top of the third after a single by Hawkeyes infielder Aralee Bogar, who stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. She tagged up on a long fly to cut LSU’s lead to 6-1.
The Tigers got that one back and more, exploding for nine runs on five hits in the top of the third inning.
Freshman utility player Jordyn Perkins highlighted the inning when she hammered a three-run home in her second career at-bat, giving the Tigers a 15-1 lead going into the fourth.
The Tigers added one more in the bottom half of the inning to go up 16-1.
Pitcher Maribeth Gorsuch only allowed one run on one hit in five innings.
LSU will face Bucknell for the final game of the Tiger Classic at 11 a.m. Sunday.
“We have to take it one pitch at a time,” Thornhill said. “We focus on whichever game is here; that’s the most important game. Can’t look too far ahead and can’t look too far in the past, its where we are in the present.”