Softball Heads to Lake Charles for Midweek Play at McNeese
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 21/23 LSU (27-16, 8-7 SEC) steps out of SEC play to challenge McNeese State (26-16, 10-2 SLC) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19 at Joe Miller Field in Lake Charles, La.
Tuesday’s game will be televised on YURVIEW, and Patrick Wright will call the action on the LSU Sports Radio Network, 107.3 FM in the Baton Rouge area.
LSU is coming off a three-game sweep over South Carolina last weekend at Tiger Park. The Tigers held the Gamecocks to a .186 batting average and registered a 1.05 ERA as they collected two shutouts and a run-rule in the sweep. Junior Ali Kilponen and senior Shelbi Sunseri earned complete game shutout wins, while Sunseri also led the Tigers with four RBIs behind a pair of home runs.
This season LSU is batting .293 with 325 hits, including a SEC best 72 doubles (No. 8 in NCAA). The Tigers also have 231 RBIs and 44 home runs this season. Defensively, the Tigers have the fourth lowest ERA in the conference at 2.69 and have 237 strikeouts.
Sophomore Danieca Coffey leads the Tigers with a .391 batting average, followed by sophomore Ciara Briggs who is hitting .388 this season. Both have 54 hits (No. 3 in SEC, No. 20 in NCAA), while Briggs leads the team with 41 runs scored. Sophomore Taylor Pleasants has a .317 batting average and leads the team with 19 extra-base hits, including a team-high 11 doubles. Senior Shelbi Sunseri (.275) leads LSU with 13 home runs, a mark tied with Pleasants (2021) at No. 9 in the program’s record book for the most home runs in a single season. Sunseri ranks No. 3 all-time with 46 career home runs. Junior Georgia Clark (.271) rounds out the top of the lineup for LSU and has 11 home runs and 46 RBIs. Clark’s RBI mark ranks No. 3 in the SEC and No. 15 in the country.
Kilponen is 14-4 in the circle and has a 2.17 ERA with 107 strikeouts in 112.2 innings pitched. Kilponen is coming off her fifth shutout of the season and 10th in her career. Sunseri is 6-6 record with a 2.73 ERA and 52 strikeouts, and freshman Raelin Chaffin is 5-2 this season on the rubber, has a 3.15 ERA, 43 strikeouts, walked nine batters, has two complete games and one shutout in 11 appearances and 46.2 innings pitched this season.
LSU holds a 35-3 edge in the all-time series with McNeese and is on a 10-game winning streak, including a 10-2 victory last season in the 2021 NCAA Regional Tournament.
The Cowgirls are the class of the Southland Conference and are coming off a 2-1 series win against Northwestern State. McNeese is 19-8 at home this season highlighted by a 6-5 13-inning win over ULL on April 6. McNeese is batting .271 with 282 hits and 180 RBIs, while registering a 2.74 ERA behind 158 strikeouts.
Sophomore Jil Poullard leads the team with a .378 batting average, 33 RBIs, six home runs, and a .714 slugging percentage. Junior Kendall Talley follows with a .339 average and classmate Alayis Seneca rounds out the top three batters with a .316 average. All three have totaled 37 hits this season. Sophomore Shaelyn Sanders ranks No. 3 in the Southland with a 2.08 ERA and has a 6-2 record in the circle with 29 strikeouts in 64.0 innings pitched. Sophomore Ashley Vallejo (10-6) does most of the heavy lifting with 82 strikeouts in 104.0 innings of work and has a 2.42 ERA. In 27 appearances, Vallejo has nine complete games, four shutouts, and one save.
LSU will pick up SEC play with a three-game road series at Georgia April 22-24.
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