LSU Gold

No. 4 LSU Sweeps Opening Day of the Purple & Gold Challenge

No. 4 LSU has its first 15-0 start since 2015 after defeating Illinois and San Diego State.

Tournament Home Box Score vs. Illinois Box Score vs. San Diego State +0
No. 4 LSU Sweeps Opening Day of the Purple & Gold Challenge

BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 4/5 LSU (15-0) rallied to a 3-2 win over Illinois (4-7) and run-ruled San Diego State (8-8), 9-1 in six innings on Friday at Tiger Park to remain unbeaten.

The win marks the program’s best start since opening the 2015 season 25-0. 

Outfielder Ciara Briggs and third baseman Danieca Coffey paced the Tigers with four hits and three runs scored on the day. Briggs hit her first home run of the season and ninth in her career in the win against San Diego State, and Coffey hit her second triple this season and ninth of her career. 

“I think Daneica Coffey and Ciara Briggs are the story of the day,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “Sierra Daniel stepped up big time along with them. They’re usually our table-setters, but today, they cleaned the table for us. Seeing them step up is nice because they are incredible players.” 

Outfielder McKenzie Redoutey led a trio of players with two hits and had a team-high three RBIs. Catcher Maci Bergeron and second baseman Sierra Daniel also had two hits Friday, and Bergeron blasted her second home run of the season in the win against SDSU.  

Game One

Pitcher Raelin Chaffin improved to 5-0 on the season, dealing five punchouts with two hits, and batters walked in 3.1 innings of relief against Illinois.

Illinois’ pitcher Tori McQueen (1-2) was charged with the loss, allowing five hits and three runs, walking two Tiger batters, and throwing five strikeouts in six innings.

Briggs and Coffey each had two hits, accounting for four of the Tigers’ five base knocks. 

LSU scored the game’s first run in the third, but Illinois plated two in the fourth for a one-run lead through four innings. 

After two scoreless stanzas, the Tigers scored two runs on two hits in the bottom of the sixth. Outfielder Ali Newland tied the contest with an RBI single through the left side, and the following play, Redoutey laid down a bunt to bring pinch runner McKaela Walker home for the go-ahead 3-2 run.

Chaffin retired the last five batters she faced, highlighted by three strikeouts to keep UI scoreless down the stretch.  

Game Two

Five players in the LSU lineup had two hits in the game, including Briggs and Coffey. Briggs, Redoutey, and shortstop Taylor Pleasants each had two RBIs.

Pitcher Sydney Berzon improved her record to 5-0 in a complete game against San Diego State, fanning nine batters, allowing two hits and no walks, marking the third time this season to give up no free passes. 

SDSU’s pitcher, Allie Light (4-3), received the loss, allowing four hits and runs with one strikeout in three innings pitched.

The Aztecs caught a 1-0 lead in the first with a two-out solo shot to the right field but went scoreless for the remainder of the game, where Berzon faced 16 batters, allowed just one hit, and struck out eight batters.

The Tigers blew the game open in the third inning with four runs on four hits, highlighted by two home runs courtesy of Bergeron and Briggs.

LSU plated three more runs in the fifth, capped by a two-RBI single by Redoutey. 

In the bottom of the sixth, Pleasants hit a double down the right field line to bring home two runners to end the game in a 9-1 run-rule victory. 

Up Next

Day two of the Purple & Gold Challenge will feature a rematch against San Diego State at 5 p.m. CT and a bout with McNeese at 7:30 p.m. CT.

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