No. 15 LSU Closes Regular Season with Three-Game Series Versus No. 11 Georgia
BATON ROUGE, La. – The 2023 regular season concludes with a three-game series between No. 15/16 LSU (38-13, 11-10 SEC) and No. 10/11 Georgia (38-10, 15-5 SEC) May 5-7 at Tiger Park.
The Tigers will honor seniors Savannah Stewart, Georgia Clark, and Ali Kilponen, respectively, with a pregame ceremony each day of this weekend’s series.
Game one of the LSU-Georgia series will be on Friday at 6 p.m. CT and streamed on SEC Network+. Saturday’s televised matchup will air on SEC Network at 3 p.m. CT, and the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT will be on SEC Network +. Lyn Rollins and Yvette Girouard will call Friday and Sunday’s game, while Alex Perlman and Aleshia Ocasio will be on air for Saturday’s game. In addition, Patrick Wright, the Voice of LSU Softball, will have the call on 107.3 FM in the Baton Rouge area.
Although LSU fell two games to one in the three-game series at Alabama last weekend, the Tigers are 6-4 in their last 10 SEC games heading into the final week of the regular season. The Tigers lead the SEC with 420 hits and have a .313 batting average which is No. 3 in the league. LSU also has the third-lowest ERA in the conference at 1.98 behind 277 strikeouts and has registered 12 shutouts this season.
Junior infielder Danieca Coffey enters the weekend on a six-game hitting streak to lead the Tigers and rank No. 3 in the SEC with 67 hits and No. 6 with a .411 batting average. Coffey paces LSU with 39 runs scored and matches junior outfielder Ciara Briggs with 10 stolen bases. Briggs has a .351 batting average and has tallied 59 hits, ranking No. 5 in the SEC. Briggs also has 37 runs and 21 RBIs, with a 1.000 fielding percentage in 70 chances.
Junior shortstop Taylor Pleasants has a .343 batting average on the year with 46 hits, including eight home runs, 45 RBIs (No. 8 in SEC), and a .575 slugging percentage. Pleasants ranks No. 5 in program history with 37 career home runs and No. 8 all-time with 163 career RBIs.
Graduate infielder Karli Petty and junior utility player Ali Newland are batting .310 and .309 this season. Overall, Petty has 48 hits, 32 RBIs, and 25 runs scored, while Newland leads the Tigers with a .369 batting average, 24 hits, and a .569 slugging percentage in SEC games only.
Clark has a .290 batting average behind 40 hits and ranks No. 5 in the SEC with 38 walks. Clark has a team-high 11 home runs this season and adds 39 RBIs. Clark sits at No. 4 in LSU softball history with 41 career home runs, No. 3 with 127 career walks, and No. 10 with 158 career RBIs.
Freshman pitcher Sydney Berzon (13-6) ranks No. 9 in the SEC with 109 strikeouts and has a 1.65 ERA in 119.0 innings pitched. Berzon’s 109 strikeouts are the 7th most in program history from a freshman and enters the weekend leading the SEC for most strikeouts by a freshman.
Graduate pitcher Ali Kilponen is 12-6 in the circle and has a 2.18 ERA behind 101 strikeouts. Kilponen has tossed 12 complete games with four shutouts and three saves in 115.1 innings pitched. Kilponen ranks No. 9 all-time in the program’s record book with 56 career wins and 463 career strikeouts.
LSU leads Georgia in the all-time series 43-26, including last season’s 2-1 series win in Athens, Ga. LSU is 8-1 over the previous nine meetings against UGA, which includes a three-game sweep the last time the Bulldogs played at Tiger Park in 2017.
Georgia is the hottest team in the SEC as they enter the weekend riding a six-game winning streak. The Bulldogs have the second-highest batting average in the SEC at .329 (No. 9 in NCAA) but lead the league with 78 home runs and a .596 slugging percentage. In the circle, UGA has a 2.16 ERA with 261 strikeouts and holds opposing batters to a .206 average.
Georgia has eight batters averaging over .300 with 100 or more at-bats, led by senior infielder Sydney Kuma’s .397 average. Kuma has 50 hits on the year with 44 RBIs, 35 runs, and 10 homers. Junior outfielder Jayda Kearney (.388) has 52 hits, 43 RBIs, a team-high 43 runs, 18 homers, and a .881 slugging percentage. Kearney’s 18 dingers rank No. 3 in the SEC and No. 5 in the country.
Graduate pitcher Shelby Walters boasts a 17-3 record on the mound with a 1.30 ERA and 92 strikeouts in a staff-best 139.2 innings pitched. Walters has six saves and five shutouts this season. Junior pitcher Madison Kerpics has a 16-5 record with a 2.25 ERA and team-high 119 strikeouts (No. 8 in SEC) in 121.1 innings. Kerpics has held opposing batters to a .195 average and has four shutouts and one save this season.
The 2023 SEC Softball Tournament will be May 9-13 at Bogle Park in Fayetteville, Ark.
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