No. 18 LSU Set to Host Eastern Illinois, Tiger Classic
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 18 LSU will face Eastern Illinois at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 before hosting the Tiger Classic Feb. 17-19 at Tiger Park with contests against Central Arkansas, Ohio and Utah.
After taking on Eastern Illinois (0-5) Thursday night, LSU (5-0) will open the tournament with a 5 p.m. game against Ohio (2-1) on Feb. 17 before playing back-to-back games against Utah (5-0) Feb. 17-18 and two games against Central Arkansas (4-0) Feb. 18-19. The Tigers are 16-2 all-time against this weekend’s opponents and 14-2 specifically against the Tiger Classic field. All LSU games this weekend will be streamed on SECN+.
The full schedule for the Tiger Classic can be found here.
The Tigers are coming off a 5-0 opening weekend that featured two shutouts and an offensive clinic that produced 41 runs.
Infielder Taylor Pleasants was named the SEC Player of the Week after logging a .533 batting average behind eight hits, four home runs and 13 RBIs. Pleasants’ four homers mover her to No. 5 on the program’s all-time list with 33 career home runs.
Infielder Georgia Clark hit one home run over the weekend and remains tied at No. 9 on the all-time list with 31 career home runs. Clark led the team last weekend with a .600 batting average and .778 on-base percentage. In addition to Clark’s six hits, she also drew eight walks.
Fifth-year senior Ali Kilponen picked up two wins on opening weekend and needs one more win in the circle to break into the top 10 all-time list in career wins. She currently has 46. Kilponen recorded a 1.62 ERA in 13.0 innings pitched and struck out 17 batters. She held opposing batters to a .152 batting average and logged 11th career shutout in the 3-0 win against previously ranked Oregon State (Feb. 12).
True freshman Sydney Berzon shined on the rubber as she handed out seven strikeouts in 7.2 innings pitched, while giving up no runs and no walks. In her collegiate debut Berzon shutout Oregon State in the 12-0 five-inning run-rule game on Feb. 11. She then collected two saves with two total strikeouts in 2.2 innings against New Mexico (Feb. 11) and Nicholls (Feb. 12).
Eastern Illinois comes to Baton Rouge seeking its first win after going 0-5 last weekend. They have a .252 batting average, but a 5.93 ERA.
Ohio is batting .306 and hold a 2-1 record after picking up wins against George Mason and Austin Peay to begin the season. Last weekend the Bobcats hit six home runs and drove in 16 RBIs, and the pitching staff turned in a 3.15 ERA behind 14 strikeouts in 20.0 innings pitched.
Utah is receiving votes in a couple of national polls after their 5-0 weekend that featured four shutouts. As a team the Utes have a .368 batting average behind 53 hits and drove in 36 RBIs. The staff has a 0.56 ERA led by Mariah Lopez who has a 0.00 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 14.1 innings and a 3-0 record.
Central Arkansas is 4-0 on the season with a .254 average and 0.75 ERA. The pitching staff is the strength of the team, led by Kayla Beaver who is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched. She also has one save and holds opposing batters to a .159 average.
LSU will travel to play games at Louisiana Tech (Feb. 21) and ULM (Feb. 22) before returning home to host the LSU/ULL Invitational Crossover against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and UL-Lafayette.
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