LSU Gold

Tigers Stay Perfect in 2023 LSU Invitational with Wins Over Oregon State, Nicholls

Box Score vs. Oregon State Box Score vs. Nicholls +0
Tigers Stay Perfect in 2023 LSU Invitational with Wins Over Oregon State, Nicholls

BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 20/25 LSU (5-0) concluded the LSU Invitational by shutting out No. 19/25 Oregon State for the second time this weekend, 3-0 and outlasting Nicholls, 4-3 at Tiger Park.

Ali Kilponen (2-0) starred in the circle for game one and pitched a two-hit shutout against Oregon State highlighted by a season-high 10 strikeouts.

Freshman Alea Johnson (1-0) made her first career start on the rubber in game two. Through 4.0 innings, she logged six strikeouts and held opposing batters to a .188 batting average. Emilee Casanova would relieve her in the fifth inning, recording two strikeouts in 2.0 innings of work, and Sydney Berzon captured her second save of the weekend and had one strikeout.

Taylor Pleasants had a monster afternoon for LSU. She batted .500 with two home runs and a team-high 5 RBIs to go along with a 2.000 slugging percentage. Pleasants’ four home runs over the weekend brought her to No. 5 all-time in the LSU record book with 33 career home runs.

Ciara Briggs led the team with four hits and three runs, while Georgia Clark, McKenzie Redoutey and Savannah Stewart each logged two hits on the day.

LSU outscored its opponents 41-9 this weekend.

“We have a ton of things to learn and get better at,” said head coach Beth Torina. “But to be able to learn as you’re winning is the way you want to do it. Taylor Pleasants had an incredible weekend for us, and I think she elevated our offense. Sydney Berzon shined throughout the weekend too and stepped up when we called upon her name to get the job done.”

Game One

Kilponen threw a complete two-hit shutout to knock off the Oregon State Beavers. Kilponen held the opposition to a .043 batting average while striking out 10 batters.

Briggs was 2-for-4 at the plate and scored one run, and Pleasants went yard for the first time on the day that drove in two.

Kilponen started the Tigers off with three strikeouts to retire the side in the first inning. In the second stanza, LSU hit three consecutive singles from Redoutey, Maci Bergeron and Raeleen Gutierrez. Redoutey crossed home plate thanks to Danieca Coffey’s sac fly to put the Tigers on the board.

After two more scoreless innings, Pleasants hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth inning that would serve as the final runs of the game. Kilponen went on to retire six consecutive batters to end the game and collected three strikeouts in the final two frames.

Game Two

Johnson took the circle and tossed 4.0 innings with six strike outs and allowed two runs. Casanova took over in relief at the top of the fifth inning and logged two strike outs before Berzon stepped in to record the save with a strikeout in the seventh.

Briggs had another 2-for-4 performance and scored two runs, and Stewart recorded her 10th career two-hit game as she went 2-for-3 and scored one run.

After a pair of scoreless innings, Nicholls struck first in the top of the third. However, the Tigers answered with a run of their own after Karli Petty’s RBI single in the bottom half of the inning.

After being intentionally walked in the previous inning, Pleasants sent one over the right field wall with two already on base in the bottom of the fifth. The Tigers ended the inning with a 4-1 lead.

In the top of the fifth, Nicholls pulled within one run after scoring two, but Berzon closed out the game to seal the win for LSU.

On Deck

LSU will face off against Eastern Illinois on Thursday, February 16 at 6 p.m. before hosting the Tiger Classic at Tiger Park Feb. 17-19.

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