LSU Gold

Newland Hits Slam, Softball Walks Off No. 22 Northwestern, 13-12

Tournament Home Box Score +0
Newland Hits Slam, Softball Walks Off No. 22 Northwestern, 13-12

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Following a seesaw affair between nationally ranked teams, No. 12 LSU’s Danieca Coffey scored on a walk-off sacrifice fly by Raeleen Gutierrez to defeat No. 22 Northwestern, 13-12 on Friday afternoon in the Clearwater Invitational at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.

LSU (7-0) overcame an early 5-0 deficit with seven unanswered runs to lead 7-5 through four innings. Northwestern (4-2) trailed 8-7 before responding with a five-run top of the sixth to regain the advantage. 

Behind 12-8 with no outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, LSU’s Ali Newland blasted her third career grand slam to center field, knotting the contest at 12-12. 

Coffey opened the bottom of the seventh with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ciara Briggs. Two batters later, Gutierrez’s fly ball to center field was deep enough to allow Coffey to score from third for the Tigers’ victory. 

LSU’s pitcher Sydney Berzon improved to 2-0 after striking out seven batters and allowing five earned runs and one walk in 5.2 innings in relief. Kelly Lynch started the game with two strikeouts and gave up five hits and runs in 1.1 innings.  

NU’s Renae Cunningham was given the loss after just 1.0 innings in the circle, where she gave up five runs on three hits. Ashley Miller started the game and surrendered seven runs on four hits and four walks in 4.0 innings, and Riley Grudzielanek gave up a run and two hits in 1.2 innings. Miller and Grudzielanek each struck out one batter.

LSU’s Karli Petty increased her hitting streak to eight games dating back to last season and logged season highs of two hits and three RBIs. Maci Bergeron registered a career-high three RBIs after hitting her second career home run in the second inning. Ali Newland matched her career-best four RBIs for the fifth time in her career courtesy of her grand slam. 

Northwestern jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind a three-run and two-run homers in the first and second innings, respectively. LSU charged back in the bottom of the second, highlighted by a three-run shot from Bergeron, and in the third, a couple of NU errors and a wild pitch pushed Briggs across the plate to cut into the deficit, 5-4.

At the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers loaded up the bags with no outs and came away with three runs thanks to a two-RBI double by Pleasants and a sac fly from Coffey to take a 7-5 lead.   

Northwestern tied the game at seven with a couple of runs in the top of the fifth, but Petty’s RBI double to left center put the Tigers ahead, 8-7. The Wildcats put up five runs in the top of the sixth to take a 12-8 lead, but in the bottom half inning, a couple of NU errors and a walk by Pleasants loaded the bases with no outs before Newland cashed in on her third career grand slam to tie the game at 12. 

The LSU defense took NU’s batters out in order for just the second time in the game, and the offense sealed the deal with Gutierrez’s walk-off, marking the club’s third walk-off in three consecutive seasons.  

Up Next

No. 12 LSU will play a doubleheader Saturday against No. 6/8 Oklahoma State at 9:30 a.m. CT and then versus No. 5/6 Washington at 4 p.m. CT. 

Directly support LSU Softball by joining the Diamondbackers today!

For the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit Fans can follow the team on its social media outlets at and @lsusoftball on

Instagram and X.