LSU beats Alabama 5-3 to advance in WCWS
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Freshman pitchers Allie Walljasper and Carley Hoover delivered as LSU beat Alabama 5-3 in a Women's College World Series elimination game on Saturday night.
Walljasper pitched six innings and gave up three hits and three runs to claim the win. Hoover threw an inning of hitless relief for the save. She threw two wild pitches in the seventh, but got Marisa Runyon to ground out to end the threat with a runner on.
The young pitchers never showed nerves.
''They conduct themselves really, really, overly just mature for their age,'' LSU catcher Kellsi Kloss said. ''You can't even tell they're freshmen.''
Runyon hit a grand slam against Oklahoma that got the Crimson Tide to the World Series, but she couldn't duplicate the late-inning magic.
''It's a tough situation to be in,'' she said. ''You just want to pass the ball down the lineup. You don't necessarily think about being the hero, you just want to pass it down to the next person in the lineup. And unfortunately, I didn't do it. But our goal every last inning is to get the tying run at the plate, and we did do that.''
This is LSU's deepest run in the tournament since finishing third in 2004. The Tigers (52-13) face Michigan on Sunday for the right to play in the championship series. Michigan will need one win, while LSU will need two.
''They have a great team,'' LSU coach Beth Torina said. ''I know they're on a huge roll right now, a huge win streak. It would be great to know more about them than to have the short turnaround, but we'll give it our best shot and do what we can.''
Bailey Landry had two hits and two RBIs. Her two-run single in the second inning gave the Tigers a 5-0 lead.
''She just seems to come through for us when the pressure is on,'' Torina said. ''The bigger the moment, the bigger she shines. She's just been so strong for us here, all season truly, but in the postseason she's been amazing. It's been 100 percent of because of how much she wants to win and how much she cares about this team, about her university.''
Runyon had two hits and drove in a run for Alabama (48-15).