Fifth-ranked LSU’s softball team got out to an extremely slow start and wasn’t able to catch up in Friday’s 8-4 loss to No. 25 Duke in the Tiger Classic.
The Tigers face Kansas in the event at 7 p.m. Saturday, a game that will be televised by the SEC Network.
Duke (2-0) scored three runs apiece in the first two innings and extended its lead to 8-0 in the fourth when LSU (1-1) struck back on a three-run homer from designated player Shelbi Sunseri.
But by that time the damage had been done with Duke scoring five unearned runs against LSU starter and losing pitcher Ali Kilponen, who lasted 1.2 innings before Shelby Wickersham took over and allowed two runs – both earned over 5.1 innings in relief.
Duke had seven hits led by shortstop Deja Davis (2-2, 3B), center fielder Jameson Kavel (2-3), designated player Sydney Bolan (1-4, 2B, RBI) and third baseman Raine Wilson (1-3, 2 RBIs).
LSU committed two of its three errors in the first inning, including a throwing error from Kilponen that led to a run and a dropped fly ball in right field by Ciara Briggs that allowed another run to score.
Bolan had a two-run double in the second when Wickersham took over for Kilponen, but she gave up a run-scoring double to Kavel.
The Blue Devils made it 8-0 on Wilson’s base-loaded single to left that scored two.
LSU, which was limited to three hits by winning pitcher Peyton St. George, cut Duke’s lead to 8-3 in the fourth on Sunseri’s two-out, three-run homer with Amanda Doyle and pinch runner Akiya Thymes aboard.
Doyle followed with her second homer of the season – a solo shot to left with one out in the sixth.