BATON ROUGE – The No. 15 LSU softball team defeated Ole Miss 3-2 Friday night in Tiger Park in game two of the series. The Tigers move to 21-11 on the season and 6-5 in the SEC while Ole Miss falls to 21-13 on the season and 5-6 in the SEC.
The Tigers go for the sweep against Ole Miss Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be available on SEC Network+ and via live stats. LSU will wrap up its current five-game homestand on Tuesday against Louisiana Tech at 5 p.m. on SEC Network+ and via live stats.
In the bottom of the second, Georgia Clark walked to lead off the inning for the Tigers and Savannah Stewart entered to pinch run at first. Amanda Doyle laced a ball through infield that moved Stewart to third and Raeleen Gutierrez’ sacrifice fly to centerfield pushed Stewart across the plate for an early 1-0 lead over Ole Miss.
Danieca Coffey got on base in the third inning on a fielder’s choice and added a stolen base to put a runner on second with two outs. Taylor Pleasants added a hard-hit ball to the second baseman and scored Coffey from second, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Ole Miss tied the game in the top of the fourth inning, 2-2, on singles by Paige Smith and Autumn Gillespie that drove in Jessica Puk and Tate Whitley. LSU’s Ali Kilponen came out of the bullpen to record the last two outs of the inning.
Pleasants broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth inning when she launched a solo shot over the left-center wall to take a Tiger 3-2 lead.
Ole Miss put one runner on in the top of the seventh, but Kilponen picked up her fifth strikeout of the game and got a groundout to second to close out the game.
Kilponen earned the win in the circle for the Tigers with five total strikeouts in 3.2 innings and moves to 7-4 on the season.
Pleasants led the Tigers at the plate going 2-for-3 with a homerun and was responsible for two RBI on the night. Gutierrez went 1-for-2 in the game and recorded the other RBI.
On the perseverance of the pitchers tonight …
“I thought the pitchers did a good job and our defensive did a good job of keeping us in the ballgame and giving us a chance. Just holding them to a low score and giving our offense a chance to keep working through some things. Then anytime you’ve got Taylor Pleasants coming into the play, you got a chance to win a ballgame.”
If she talked to Taylor Pleasants before her homerun ….
“Lindsay (Leftwich) had talked with her about it between innings. I think they had a pretty good plan and Taylor is a player that is just extremely bought in and extremely coachable so if she’s asked to do something she’s going do everything she can to execute it. I think they had a good plan and she’s talented enough to execute it. Obviously, you know, she comes in, and the game gets tiring, but she finished it up.”
If she thought she would need to bring in Ali Kilponen tonight …
“Yeah, I think that was the plan we had; I don’t know that it always goes that way but tonight it actually went the way I thought it would. I thought we could get through the lineup once or twice and hand it over to Ali. I thought Ali was a good matchup, but I wanted to give them a little bit of a different look before we went to her just based on the game last night. So that was the plan. I thought it was executed really well by the pitchers and I thought it was successful.”
(Release via LSU Athletics)