The crowd of 1,531, second only to Saturday's record 2,326, witnessed LSU earn its third win over a No. 1-ranked team in the last two seasons and move into a tie for the Southeastern Conference championship with an overall record of 48-8 and a 21-4 mark in league play. Following the conclusion of the game, the Tigers honored their three seniors – Kristen Hobbs, Emily Turner and Leslie Klein – who all played an important part in LSU's win on Sunday, in a ceremony on the field.
"It was great the way we did Senior Day at the end because this group is so loved and we were able to give them their due," said LSU head coach Yvette Girouard. "The whole atmosphere was so emotional, so it was great we did it at the end. And it was a whole lot sweeter with the win."
The Tigers are now tied with the
Lady Vols, who dropped to 51-4 on the year and 21-4 in SEC play, and
"We've got to finish this and
that's the tough part," said Girouard. "We've got to remain very focused and do
our job in
LSU used a loss of control by pitcher Monica Abbot to their advantage as it put up three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Three Tiger players reached on walks and one was hit by a pitch in the inning, marking just the second three-walk inning for Abbott in her career and the first since her second career appearance as a freshman.
"Sometimes that's the game of softball," said Girouard. "A lot of times you are not on the receiving end of breaks and we got some breaks. She (Abbott) ran into some control problems and we took full advantage of that."
Klein led off the second with a six pitch walk, coming back from an 0-2 count to draw the free pass. Freshman Rachel Mitchell then earned the second walk of the inning as she also battled back from an 0-2 count to take her base and send Klein to second. Junior Killian Roessner was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.
After junior Erika Sluss came in to pinch run for Roessner at first, junior Tayl'r Hollis came to the plate. With a 3-1 count, Hollis was awarded a ball by home plate umpire Rodney Roth after Abbott continued to take too much time in the circle. The result was a bases loaded walk by Hollis for the first run of the game.
In the top of the fifth, the Lady Vols got on the board for the first time. Erinn Webb was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Danielle Pieroni then drew a walk as Turner worked herself into a little trouble. A sacrifice bunt by Liane Horiuchi sent Webb and Lillian Hammond, running for Pieroni, to second and third. On a fly ball to left center by India Chiles, Webb was able to score from third on the sacrifice, which cut the lead to 3-1.
Sophomore Dani Hofer then came on
in relief of Turner and got
Turner improved to 3-2 all-time
against No. 1-ranked teams as the
"This weekend kind of ran into form of what's been happening all season," said Girouard. "One pitcher starts the first game on Saturday, the next one starts the second game and then it's a team effort on Sunday. Perhaps I should have pulled her (Emily) sooner, but Dani came in and did a great job."
Abbott took the complete-game loss
to fall to 39-2 on the season. She allowed three runs on two hits with four
costly walks and five strikeouts. After striking out 13 on Saturday, she was
held to only five on Sunday, as she moved into a tie with former
The Tigers have now faced No. 1-ranked teams on nine occasions. LSU has recorded a 3-6 record in those games, with all three wins coming in the last two seasons. The Tigers defeated No. 1 Arizona in the second game of the NCAA Super Regionals last year to force a decisive third game, marking the Wildcats' first and only loss in the program's history in a game at home that would have sent Arizona to the Women's College World Series.
LSU will now close out the regular
season with a trip to
LSU will then participate in the
SEC Tournament the following weekend in
Game 2: LSU 5,
In front of the largest crowd in Southeastern Conference softball history, the fifth-ranked Tigers split an SEC doubleheader with No. 1-ranked Tennessee, losing the first game, 2-1, before coming back to win the nightcap, 5-1, on Saturday afternoon at Tiger Park.
Besting the previous LSU attendance
record by more than 800, the crowd of 2,326 saw the purple and gold earn its
second win over a No. 1-ranked team in two years, handing the Lady Vols their
worst loss of the season, tying an 0-4 loss to nationally ranked
"First of all, I have to thank our fans for showing up today and being so effective, giving us a boost and making these players feel like they matter," said LSU head coach Yvette Girouard. "I thought we battled all day long."
In the nightcap, Klein tied former
Tiger Julie Wiese for the LSU career home run record with her 31st blast. The
"I thought we played outstanding defense all day long and you are never going to see a better catch than Klein's," said Girouard. "That was one of the prettiest catches you will ever see. Tayl'r (Hollis) also played unbelievable at third base."
LSU had nine hits in the contest,
the most allowed by
Turner earned her second career
victory over a top-ranked team with the complete game effort. She improved to
16-5 on the season, limiting the Lady Vols to one run on five hits with three
walks and four strikeouts. Last season, she earned LSU's first win over a No.
1-ranked team after knocking off
In the top of the first inning,
In the bottom of the third, LSU
jumped back on top to stay. The Tigers got a one out single by
Klein put the game away in the
bottom of the fifth with her three-run home run. Kristen Hobbs led off with a
single up the middle. After a fielder's choice by
Megan Rhodes took the complete-game loss, just her second of the year, to fall to 12-2 on the season. She allowed five runs on nine hits with two strikeouts.
In the first game, the Lady Vols
got one break in the fifth inning and used it to earn the win. LSU took the 1-0
lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by
"They put a bunt down when they needed to and then they executed," said Girouard. "That was the difference in the first game, along with (Monica) Abbott. In a game of this magnitude, everything little thing counts and it did count today, but it counted against us."
Dani Hofer took just her second
loss of the season and first in conference play to fall to 21-2 overall.
Allowing just two unearned runs on six hits with a walk, she also recorded five
strikeouts. Abbott earned the win for
"Dani threw very well today, but