Softball Opens SEC Tournament With Missouri
BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 21 LSU softball team, seeded sixth overall, will open play on Wednesday at the 2017 SEC Softball Tournament in Knoxville with a rematch against the Missouri Tigers, the 11 seed, at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.
Every game of the conference tournament will be aired live on television, with Wednesday and Thursday on the SEC Network, Friday’s semifinals on ESPNU and Saturday’s championship game airing on ESPN at 7 p.m. that night.
The broadcast crew of Beth Mowins, Michelle Smith and Holly Rowe will be on hand to call the opening round game on the SEC Network from Sherri Parker Lee Stadium. Patrick Wright will have the call of the team’s run in the tournament on the radio home of LSU softball on Talk 107.3 FM locally in Baton Rouge, with free audio at LSUsports.net/live.
LSU finished the regular season with a 38-17 overall record and a 12-12 mark in league play, winning the finale against South Carolina 4-2 after dropping the first two games of the series last weekend in Columbia. The Tigers finished tied with Kentucky in league record, holding the tiebreaker over the Wildcats due to LSU having a win over Tennessee in the regular season as a common opponent.
The Tigers will be looking to recapture some of the magic the team had last season in Starkville, making a miraculous run to the tournament final before falling in the championship to Auburn. LSU last won the SEC Tournament title back in 2007 and have won five tournament championships to date, qualifying for every league postseason tournament since 1997 with a 40-20 record in the event.
Going into the postseason, LSU will be led offensively at the plate by upperclassmen in Bailey Landry, Sahvanna Jaquish and Emily Griggs. Landry leads the team with a .440 batting average and 80 hits, while Jaquish sports a .341 batting average with seven doubles, seven home runs and 60 walks. Griggs in third on the team in total hits with 55, sitting second in runs scored with 35 and batting .304 on the year.
In the circle, the Tigers have one of the strongest rotations in the country with a 1.60 ERA coming into the tournament, sporting three pitchers with double figure wins in Carley Hoover, Sydney Smith and Allie Walljasper.
Walljasper leads the team with 14 wins and five shutouts, as in 117 innings she has walked only 19 batters and opponents are only hitting .196 against her. Hoover has the lowest ERA at 1.08 and most strikeouts with 141, while Sydney Smith has 10 wins, a 1.88 ERA and four shutouts in 96.2 innings pitched.
Not even two full weeks will have passed since Missouri and LSU met on the softball field when the two sides tangle again on Wednesday night in Knoxville, as LSU won two of the three games in Baton Rouge in the final home weekend of the year at the end of April. LSU won the opener 3-2 and the first game of a doubleheader 3-1.
Coincidentally, the last time LSU and Missouri met in the SEC Tournament was back in 2014 as LSU was the six seed and Missouri was the third-seeded team overall, as the Tigers pulled out a 6-0 win in South Carolina. All-time, LSU is 9-6 against Missouri.
No. 21/21 LSU vs Missouri, May 10, 6:30 p.m. CT, SEC Network, Talk 107.3 FM
Series Record Against…
Missouri: LSU leads 9-6
On the team’s progression heading into the postseason…
“It’s a long season, and when you play 56 games there are going to be highs and lows. We have a solid two weeks where we can work, prepare and get ourselves where we need to be when we head into the regional. We’ve got work to do. I think we will continue working to be better and trying to find all of the answers the next couple of weeks.”
Batting Average: Bailey Landry (.440)
Hits: Bailey Landry (80)
Triples: Bailey Landry (7)
Home Runs: Sydney Springfield (8)
RBI: Sahvanna Jaquish (47)
Stolen Bases: Bailey Landry (11)
ERA: Carley Hoover (1.08)
Wins: Allie Walljasper (14)
Strikeouts: Carley Hoover (141)
Shutouts: Allie Walljasper (5)
Fewest Walks Allowed: Allie Walljasper (19)
Opponent Batting Avg.: Carley Hoover (.154)
Scouting the Opposition
Comes into the tournament opener with a 29-25 overall record, finishing 12th in the SEC with a record of 7-16… Dropped two of three games to Ole Miss to finish the regular season, winning the finale against the Rebels on a walk-off 3-2… Dropped two of three games to LSU when the two teams played in Baton Rouge in April… Hitting .282 as a team with 398 hits, including 70 doubles and 52 home runs… As a team has a slugging percentage .449 and on-base percentage of .360… Regan Nash currently leads Missouri with a .348 batting average, while Kirsten Mack leads the team with 51 hits… Missouri pitchers currently have an ERA of 3.20, posting nine shutouts and 260 strikeouts… Cheyenne Baxter leads the pitching staff with 16 wins and an ERA of 2.08.
What’s On Deck
With a win, LSU will advance to face No. 3 seed Tennessee at 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday in Knoxville.
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 @lsusb on Instagram.