No. 10 LSU downs Texas Tech, 5-1, to win advance to NCAA Softball Super Regionals
BATON ROUGE – The 10th-ranked LSU softball team defeated Texas Tech, 5-1 in the final game of the Baton Rouge Regional at Tiger Park Sunday evening. The Tigers improve to 43-17 overall and advance to the Super Regional in the NCAA Tournament.
The Red Raiders scored in the top of the first on a single to left field. LSU had runners on first and second in the bottom of the inning, but a fly out to center field from Amanda Doyle ended the inning with Texas Tech leading 1-0.
Amanda Sanchez led off the at-bats in the bottom of the second and crushed the ball over the right center wall, recording her ninth homer on the year and tying up the game 1-1. Morgan Cummins reached on a walk, but Aliyah Andrews lined out to the pitcher to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Savannah Stewart singled to left center, but got out at second on a fielder’s choice when Shelbi Sunseri singled to shortstop. Sunseri advanced to second when Shemiah Sanchez grounded out to third, and Doyle reached on a walk. Amanda Sanchez also reached on a walk, followed by a single to right field from Amber Serrett to score Sunseri. LSU led 2-1 going into fourth.
The fourth inning was a big one for the Tigers, leaving three runners stranded in the top half and scoring three runs in the bottom. Michaela Schlattman singled to center field to start it off, and Andrews reached on a walk. With two outs and a 3-1 count, Sunseri hit a three-run homer over the center field fence, her 17th home run on the season. The Tigers had a 5-1 lead on the Red Raiders heading to the fifth.
Texas Tech had one on base in the top of the seventh, but LSU left the runner stranded and claimed the 5-1 victory with an out at second by Shemiah Sanchez.
Maribeth Gorsuch gets the win in the circle and improves to 13-3 on the year. She allowed one run on five hits and finished with three strikeouts. Sunseri recorded her fifth save on the year, allowing no runs in the 1.1 innings pitched.
“First, I would like to congratulate Texas Tech on a fantastic season. They are such a great team and what a terrific job that their coaches Adrian (Gregory) and Sam (Marder) have done with that program and I have no doubt that they will be in this same spot again next year and hopefully they will be battling someone other than us because they are such a tough opponent. I am really proud of my team as our motto for the year is ‘Fight All the Way’ and that is what we set out to do. We did not have a target number of runs or wins, we just wanted to fight and I think our team did exactly that this weekend. When I think about the battles that we have gone through and the ups and downs of this season, it is really cool to think about the performances of the whole team especially of players sitting next to me (Shelbi Sunseri, Amanda Sanchez, Maribeth Gorsuch). They did a really great job. MB (Maribeth Gorsuch) is always one pitch away from greatness and she had a great performance tonight. Amanda has been up and down and tonight she was moved down in the line-up but it did not matter as she also had a terrific performance. What else can you say about Shelbi Sunseri? She hits, pitches, and she gives us everything she has and then some. I am really proud of the whole team effort. We set out to fight and I think we did that and overall I am really proud of my team.”
On the guts her team showed tonight…
“Definitely, on this day it is not about which team is better or how they match up with each other, it is really about which team fights the hardest. Our team fought really hard and I could tell they wanted it. I thought they made gutsy plays and made gutsy decisions and those decisions paid off.”
This is the fifth straight year the Tigers have made it to the Super Regional.
The Tigers are now 29-9 at home.
The Tigers advance to the Super Regional next weekend, but await their opponent due to weather delays at the Minneapolis Regional. Details on location, date and time of the series are currently TBA.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball and @BethTorina on Twitter and @lsusoftball on Instagram.
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