Softball Travels to St. Pete/Clearwater Invitational
BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 8/7 LSU softball team hits the road for the first time in 2019, heading to Clearwater, Florida for the inaugural St. Pete/Clearwater Invitational.
The Tigers take on Top 25 opponents in No. 20/17 Oklahoma St. (4-1), No. 19/22 Oregon (5-0), No. 11/12 Texas (4-0), No. RV/23 Ohio St. (3-1) and No. 1/2 Florida St. (5-0). Four of the five games will stream and air live on the ESPN family of networks.
The Tigers kicked off the season last week and put together a total of 73 runs in six games, the most runs in any six-game stretch in program history. The Tigers got a stellar performance from sophomore Shelbi Sunseri, who hit .636 with a 1.909 slugging percentage to go along with four home runs, 14 RBI, 21 total bases, two shutouts and a 0.00 earned run average.
Graduate transfer Amanda Sanchez put together an outstanding show in her first games as an LSU Tiger. She led the squad in batting average at .692 with seven doubles, 11 RBI and 10 runs scored.
Freshman pitcher Shelby Wickersham picked up SEC Freshman of the Week after tossing the sixth no-hitter by a freshman and the second in a debut by a freshman in program history.
LSU vs. Oklahoma St., Feb. 14, 9 a.m. CT, ESPNU
LSU vs. Oregon, Feb. 15, 11:30 a.m. CT, SECN
LSU vs. Texas, Feb. 15, 3 p.m. CT, ESPNU
LSU vs. Ohio St., Feb. 16, 9 a.m. CT
LSU vs. Florida St., Feb. 16, 12 p.m. CT, ESPN3
Series Record Against…
Oklahoma St.: LSU leads 7-2
Oregon: Oregon leads 4-0
Texas: Texas leads 4-2
Ohio St.: LSU leads 5-1
Florida St.: Florida St. leads 6-5
Scouting the Opposition
Kenny Gajewski has assembled a roster of 22 star student-athletes. In Taylor Lynch and Madi Sue Montgomery, Oklahoma State fields two anchors to the program. As the only players to be active on the roster through Gajewski’s first four years in Stillwater, the Texas tandem stands as a driving force for whatever success lays ahead for OSU. Beside them, the Cowgirls have names like returning senior Rylee Bayless, sophomore captain Sydney Pennington, rising pitcher Logan Simunek and a former Texas A&M two-way standout in Samantha Show.
Entering their first season under head coach Melyssa Lombardi, the Ducks’ 2019 squad features five returners from 2018 and 14 total newcomers, including 10 freshmen. Five of Oregon’s freshmen were ranked in the top 100 of FloSoftball’s recruiting rankings for the 2018 class, including IF Jasmine Sievers (No. 10), IF Rachel Cid (No. 11), C Terra McGowan (No. 20), OF Lexi Wagner (No. 73) and IF Allee Bunker (No. 96), and UT Hannah Galey was also highly regarded after a dominant career at Scappoose HS.
Texas begins a softball season with a new head coach in charge for the first time since the inaugural year of the program as former Oregon head coach Mike White stepped into the same role for the Longhorns in June 2018. UT returns nine players from last season that earned time in at least 50 games (eight of those started at least 38 match-ups) and 13 total letter winners.
The Buckeyes return 16 letterwinners this season, including five players that have made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. The team also added six newcomers to the roster.
Florida State returns seven defensive starters and one starting pitcher from the 2018 NCAA National Championship team. Despite losing a pair of All-Americans in Jessie Warren and Morgan Klaevemann, the FSU offense returns 12 total players that combined to tally 399 hits, 306 runs, 94 doubles, 17 triples, 54 home runs, 289 RBI and 120 stolen bases.
What’s On Deck
The Tigers return home for their second home tournament of the season, hosting the Purple & Gold Challenge. The Tigers will welcome in Stanford, Memphis, Michigan and Cal State Northridge Feb. 21-24.
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.