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No. 11 LSU Opens SEC Tournament with Bout Against Ole Miss

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No. 11 LSU Opens SEC Tournament with Bout Against Ole Miss

BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 11/14 LSU (40-14) will take on 11th-seeded Ole Miss (29-25) in the first round of the 2023 SEC Softball Tournament at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, May 10 at Bogle Park in Fayetteville, Ark.


Wednesday’s game will be televised on SEC Network and will have Kevin Brown and Amanda Scarborough on the call. In addition, fans can listen on 107.3 FM in the Baton Rouge area with Patrick Wright – the Voice of LSU softball, calling the action.


The Tigers concluded the regular season with a 40-14 record, including a 13-11 mark in SEC games. LSU has reached 40 wins for the sixth time under Head Coach Beth Torina, who will also coach her 708th game for LSU Wednesday – the most games coached by a female head coach in LSU history.


The Fighting Tigers are coming off a 2-1 series win over Georgia, where they held one of the top offensive clubs in the nation to a .197 batting average behind a pitching staff that totaled 15 strikeouts. Overall, LSU leads the SEC with 447 hits and has a .314 batting average which ranks No. 3 in the league. LSU’s 1.97 ERA is the third-lowest in the conference, and the defense ranks No. 3 with a .978 fielding percentage and has turned 24 double plays this season – the second most in the SEC.


Junior utility player Ali Newland is the reigning SEC Player of the Week after torching Georgia with a .700 batting average with seven hits and three RBIs. Newland hit a double in each game of the three-game series and registered a 1.000 slugging percentage and .700 on-base percentage. Newland has tallied 50 hits and a .336 batting average this season and leads the team with 31 hits and a .413 batting average against SEC opponents.


In addition to Newland, five other players in the lineup have a batting average of over .300 with at least 100 at-bats. Junior infielder Danieca Coffey leads the way with a .395 average (No. 6 in SEC) and 68 hits which sits No. 3 in the SEC and No. 19 in the NCAA. Coffey matches junior outfielder Ciara Briggs with 39 runs this season, who also has a .354 batting average and 63 hits this season (No. 5 in SEC). Briggs leads the team with 11 stolen bases.


Junior shortstop Taylor Pleasants and graduate designated player Georgia Clark have .333 and .304 batting averages, respectively. Pleasants paces LSU with 46 RBIs behind 48 hits, while Clark leads the team with 12 home runs and a .574 slugging percentage. Clark ranks No. 4 all-time in program history with 42 career home runs, followed by Pleasants, who is at No. 5 with 37 career dingers. Pleasants sits at No. 8 all-time with 164 career RBIs, and Clark is behind her at No. 9 with 160 career ribbies.


Sophomore outfielder McKenzie Redoutey rounds out the top hitters with a .303 batting average and has accounted for 43 hits this season, including a team-high 17 extra-base hits.


Freshman pitcher Sydney Berzon (13-7) has had a stellar season and is a TUCCI/NFCA National Freshman of the Year candidate. Berzon has thrown 123.0 innings and has a 1.76 ERA behind 114 strikeouts, three saves, and three shutouts. Berzon’s 114 strikeouts rank No. 6 in program history for most strikeouts by a freshman.


Graduate pitcher Ali Kilponen is 13-6 in the circle and has a 2.12 ERA with 108 strikeouts (No. 10 in the SEC). Kilponen has tossed 13 complete games with four shutouts and three saves this season. Kilponen ranks No. 9 all-time in the program’s record book with 57 career wins and 470 career strikeouts.



LSU leads Ole Miss in the all-time series 57-14, including a 2-1 series win earlier this season in Oxford, Miss. In that series, LSU out-hit Ole Miss 21-17 and had a better batting average (.266-.230). Junior utility player Raeleen Gutierrez led the Tigers in that series with a .500 batting average and four hits, while Berzon and Kilponen combined for 16 strikeouts and a 1.40 ERA in 20.0 innings pitched.


Ole Miss ended the season with a 29-25 record and an 8-16 mark in SEC play. Although Ole Miss fell in a three-game series versus Alabama, 2-1, the Rebels ended the series with a 5-4 victory heading into the tournament.  


The Rebels are batting .271 with 370 hits and have a 2.84 ERA with 275 strikeouts. Ole Miss also has a .971 fielding percentage and leads the SEC with 25 double plays turned.


Senior outfielder Tate Whitley (.323) and sophomore infielder Keila Kamoku (.301) lead the Rebels in batting average, while senior utility player Savana Sikes leads the club with 43 hits and 34 runs. Senior outfielder Mya Stevenson brings power to the lineup and leads Ole Miss with 12 home runs and chips in 34 RBIs.  


Senior pitcher Makenna Klietherm (6-6) leads the staff with 91 strikeouts in 92.0 innings pitched and has a 3.50 ERA. Junior utility pitcher Aynslie Furbush (8-6) is next with 53 strikeouts and has a 2.14 ERA over 78.2 innings, and sophomore pitcher Catelyn Riley (6-5) has thrown 81.2 innings and has a 2.49 ERA and 51 strikeouts this season. 



A win for LSU will set up a fourth game this season between LSU and No. 3 seed Auburn at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday, May 11. Auburn won the regular season series against LSU, 2-1, April 14-16 in Auburn, Ala.


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