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No. 11 LSU Crowned Regional Champions, Shutout Southern Illinois, 9-0

LSU, who has won five of its six games, will make its 10th Super Regional appearance after claiming its first regional championship since 2021.

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No. 11 LSU Crowned Regional Champions, Shutout Southern Illinois, 9-0

BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 11 LSU tied a season-high three home runs and recorded its 15th shutout this season in the 9-0 five-inning victory over Southern Illinois Sunday at Tiger Park, sending LSU to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time since 2021. 

LSU, who has won five of its last six games, improves its record to 43-15, while Southern Illinois’ season ends at 44-11. 

“I’m so proud of this team and these seniors,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “This senior class has done all the right things. I told them right after the game that this moment was earned and deserved for how they carried themselves. Our fans were awesome in how they treated them in this final moment here at Tiger Park. They deserve those moments because they’ve done so many things so right. To see Taylor [Pleasants] finish here at Tiger Park the way she has makes everyone in the stands, and me, the happiest we could be because she deserves it. She has been the most incredible representative of this program you could ever ask for. To see her end like that and the last ball to find Ciara Briggs’s glove, you can’t draw it up any better than that.”

LSU will make its 10th Super Regional appearance after claiming its first regional championship since 2021. The Tigers are now 65-31 all-time in the NCAA Regionals.

Lynch moved to 9-2 on the mound and turned in her sixth complete-game shutout this year and the 10th of her career. Lynch fanned six batters and allowed one hit and one walk in the run-rule win. The Tigers relinquished one run in 19.0 innings in the 2024 Baton Rouge Regional. 

“I think Kelley Lynch was incredible today,” said Coach Torina. “I knew watching film that she was the best matchup against SIU. Luckily, Sydney Berzon is talented and matches up with anyone we play, but I knew Kelley would have a ton of success. I also think the brighter the lights shine, the better she is. She is built for these moments. The day she decided to join this team was a lucky day for our program.”

SIU pitcher Maddia Groff (30-5) was charged the loss after allowing five runs on three hits with two walks and no strikeouts thrown in 1.1 innings.

Six LSU starters recorded hits, led by second baseman Karli Petty’s 2-for-2 outing with two runs and two RBIs, including her fifth home run this year and ninth as an LSU Tiger. Shortstop Taylor Pleasants’ hit her 10th round-tripper of the season and had a team-high three RBIs, and catcher Maci Bergeron struck her third home run of the season and had two ribbies to account for the Tigers’ three longballs. Outfielder Ciara Briggs and first baseman Raeleen Gutierrez each contributed RBIs in the win.

After Lynch struck out the side in the opening half-inning, Gutierrez set the tone offensively for LSU with an RBI double, giving the home team a 1-0 advantage after the first inning. 

The LSU bats erupted in the second stanza, with the Tigers scoring five runs on three hits. Petty laced a ball to right field for an RBI single, and Briggs capitalized on a bases-loaded situation by scoring a runner on a sacrifice fly. Pleasants stepped to the plate with two runners still on base and went first-pitch swinging for a two-out dinger, skyrocketing LSU’s lead to 6-0. 

The Fighting Tigers added three runs in the third inning courtesy of Bergeron’s two-run homer and Petty’s solo shot, bringing LSU’s lead to 9-0. 

After a leadoff walk in the opening inning, the LSU defense dominated the Salukis, retiring 14 consecutive batters until SIU recorded its lone hit of the contest in the fifth inning.

Up Next

LSU will face the No. 8 seeded Stanford Cardinal, who won the Stanford Regional. The best-of-three series begins at 9 p.m. CT on Friday, May 24, and will be televised on ESPNU.