No. 22 LSU Set to Battle No. 8/10 Arkansas
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 22 LSU (21-10, 2-1 SEC) resumes SEC play with a three-game series at No. 8/10 Arkansas (20-5, 2-1 SEC) March 26-28 at Bogle Park in Fayetteville, Ark.
Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. game and Sunday’s noon contest will air on ESPN2, while Monday’s game at 6 p.m. will be televised on the SEC Network. Patrick Wright will call each game on the LSU Sports Radio Network 107.3 FM.
LSU dominated in a 12-0 five inning shutout against Nicholls Wednesday night that saw junior Ali Kilponen throw her first career no-hitter. Kilponen matched a season-high 11 strikeouts and walked just two batters in the win. Offensively, two Tigers went 3-for-3 at the dish in sophomores Ciara Briggs (two RBIs) and Taylor Pleasants, and classmate Kennedi Houshmandzadeh hit her first career home run that crossed three runs.
LSU is hitting .297 on the year and rank No. 7 in the SEC with 233 hits that include 46 doubles (No. 3 in SEC) and 32 home runs (No. 7 in SEC). The Tigers lead the league with 119 walks. Defensively, LSU has the fourth lowest ERA in the conference at 2.14 and the fourth lowest opposing batting average at .202. In a league-high 205.2 innings pitched, LSU ranks No. 8 in the SEC with 176 strikeouts and lead the league with 871 chances and 617 putouts.
Sophomore Danieca Coffey leads the Tigers with a .420 batting average and ranks No. 5 in the NCAA with 42 hits this season. Sophomore Ciara Briggs is batting .398 with 39 hits (No. 18 in the NCAA) and has a team-high 31 runs scored. Junior Georgia Clark has a .313 batting average and leads the SEC with 39 RBIs, a mark that sits at No. 5 in the NCAA. Clark’s 10 home runs pace the Tigers and is the fourth most in the conference.
With Kilponen’s no-hitter, she improves to 10-4 in the circle behind a 1.92 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 80.0 innings pitched. Kilponen now has four shutouts on the year with one save and eight complete games. Senior utility player Shelbi Sunseri has a 5-2 record on the rubber with a 1.72 ERA and 39 strikeouts. She also has one save and one shutout, while hitting .258 with 17 hits, eight home runs, and 23 RBIs. True freshman Raelin Chaffin is 4-1 this season and has logged 32 strikeouts, walked nine batters, and has two complete games and one shutout in seven appearances this season. Chaffin has a 2.79 ERA over 32.2 innings pitched.
LSU leads Arkansas in the all-time series 61-13. Although the Tigers fell two games to one in last year’s series, the Purple and Gold have an 8-4 record in the last 12 meetings dating back to the 2016 season.
The Razorbacks boast an 11-2 record at home and are 9-1 in their last 10 games. Arkansas defeated then-No. 14 Tennessee 2-1 in a three-game series March 18-20 to open its SEC schedule. Arkansas ranks No. 4 in the SEC with a .346 batting average and has 185 RBIs and 46 home runs, both ranking No. 2 in the SEC. The Razorbacks have a 3.34 ERA (No. 12 in the SEC) with 177 strikeouts (No. 7 in the SEC) and allows the third most runs in the league at 93.
Arkansas has three players hitting over .420, led by senior Danielle Gibson’s .548 batting average, 40 hits, 34 RBIs and 11 home runs. Sophomore Hannah Gammill (.435) matches Gibson’s 11 home runs and has 30 RBIs and 27 hits, while graduate Taylor Ellsworth (.421) has 32 hits, 25 RBIs, and 24 runs scored. Senior Mary Haff leads the Arkansas pitching staff with 72 strikeouts, a 2.60 ERA and has one shutout and one save in 64.2 innings pitched this season. Junior Chenise Delce (5-1) has three complete games and a shutout to go along with her 3.61 ERA and 57 strikeouts, and sophomore Jenna Bloom (6-0) has a 2.97 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 35.1 innings pitched.
LSU plays its final home midweek game at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 before hosting Kentucky April 1-3 at Tiger Park.
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