LSU one away from championship game

PLANT CITY, Fla. -- Lauren Delahoussaye's RBI single in the fifth inning was the only run LSU scored and the only one the Tigers needed in a 1-0 win Saturday night over Florida in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

A sterling performance in the circle from pitcher Kristin Schmidt, who held the Gators to one hit, was complemented with Delahoussaye's second game-winning hit of the tournament.

LSU (48-15) forced a second game against Florida at 9 a.m. Sunday to decide who advances to the championship game against Alabama.

With the game scoreless after four innings, Julie Wiese singled for LSU and Megan Steege and Blair Smith walked to load the bases loaded with two outs. LSU head coach Yvette Girouard inserted Delahoussaye as a pinch-hitter. The freshman from Lafayette drove in the winning run Friday in the Tigers' tournament-opener against Tennessee, and she singled to the left side to drive in Wiese for the game's only run.

Girouard expressed her pleasure with her team's never-say-die approach.

"We live to play another day," Girouard said. "I thought Kristin was outstanding tonight. We played good defense, and tonight's performance was nice because we didn't play well at Florida last weekend. Tonight was the true Tiger team."

Having lost two out of three the previous weekend to the Gators in Gainesville, Girouard said her team came in with more of an aggressive approach at the plate against Florida's top pitcher, Jenny Gladding.

"I think there's no question that if she (Gladding) hits the corners she's unhittable like she was last weekend," said Girouard. "We made some adjustments and we had a pretty good idea of what she was going to do."

Schmidt (32-20) threw a complete game one-hit shutout against a Florida team that had beat her only six days before. She only allowed three base runners and no Gator runner advanced beyond third base.

Schmidt also struck out eleven Gators, marking the ninth time this season she had struck out at least ten batters.

With Tessa Lynam going the distance in Saturday's first game against South Carolina, Schmidt only had to pitch one game Saturday, something Schmidt pointed to as a major factor to her success.

"I felt really good tonight," Schmidt said. "I felt like all my pitches were working and there were several outstanding defensive plays."

Delahoussaye continues to be the secret weapon for Girouard. Rarely used in the regular season with a batting average hovering around .200, Delahoussaye is 2-for-3 in the tournament for the Tigers with two game-winning RBIs.

"I just feel lucky," Delahoussaye said. "I was just looking for a good pitch and I got it and took advantage."

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