Tigers take SEC Softball Tourney crown

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Most Valuable Player Kristin Schmidt earned a win and a save on Sunday as the second-ranked LSU softball team defeated Auburn, 1-0, before coming back to claim the SEC Tournament Championship with a 4-1 win over Georgia in the title game at the Alabama Softball Complex.

With their fourth tournament championship in the last six seasons, the Tigers improved to 50-10 on the year, marking the seventh-consecutive season that the program has reached the 50-win plateau. Georgia dropped to 51-15 on the season, while Auburn fell to 42-16 on the year.

LSU will now await its seeding in the NCAA Tournament after earning the SEC's automatic berth. The regional pairings will be announced Sunday between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on ESPNews. The Tigers will make their seventh consecutive appearance in postseason play after claiming sweeping the three SEC awards - division, regular season championship and tournament championship -for the fourth time.

"This is such a special team," said LSU head Yvette Girouard. "No one voted us to win any awards at the beginning of the season. This was also the first year that we didn't go into the year saying that we wanted to win championship but we won."

Earning her second-consecutive MVP honor, Schmidt went 3-0 in the tournament with a save, while posting a 0.31 earned run average. In four appearances, she allowed just one run on 13 hits with 24 strikeouts. Against South Carolina in the opening round, she tied the SEC Tournament single-game record with 14 strikeouts.

Leslie Klein also earned All-Tournament honors for the Tigers. She hit .313 in five games with a home run, an RBI and three runs scored. In addition, she was 1-for-1 in stolen bases and made 10 outstanding putouts in the field.

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