In complete charge: With Ali Kilponen dominating in circle, No. 15 LSU relies on pair of homers in 2-0 win over Michigan

Tigers rally for 6-5 win in nightcap against Loyola Marymount

LSU third baseman Danieca Coffey (13) and the Tigers host the Purple & Gold Challenge beginning Thursday against Brigham Young. PHOTO BY: LSU athletics

LSU graduate pitcher Ali Kilponen kept her team in the game long enough until her team’s bats finally provided some relief in the latter stages of Friday’s first game of the Judi Garman Classic.

Kilponen (5-0) yielded four hits and threw her third shutout of the season in No. 15 LSU’s 2-0 victory over Michigan.

The Tigers (17-1) rallied in their second game against Loyola Marymount, scoring four times in the bottom of the sixth for a 6-5 victory.

LSU plays a doubleheader Saturday at 2:30 against Minnesota and 5:30 against San Jose State.

LSU 6, Loyola Marymount 5: Ciara Briggs’ three-run double keyed her team’s sixth-inning uprising to erase a 4-2 deficit.

The Tigers had three doubles in the inning with Raeleen Gutierrez and Ali Newland going back-to-back for the team’s first run of the inning. Savannah Stewart singled and Danica Coffey was hit by a pitch before Briggs stepped to the plate and doubled on the first pitch she saw from reliever Jenna Perez.

Freshman reliever Sydney Berzon pitched into the seventh inning when Loyola Marymount made it a one-run game on Amanda Ta’amu’s two-out, RBI-single. Ali Kilponen came on in relief and issued a walk before getting a ground out back to the circle to end the game.

LSU trailed 3-0 through three innings with Berzon (6-0) keeping the Tigers close with 6.1 innings of relief pitching. She allowed six hits, two runs, walked two and struck out one.

LSU picked up two runs in the bottom of the fourth and trailed 4-2 on Taylor Pleasants’ two-run homer with Coffey aboard after reaching on an error.

LSU 2, Michigan 0: LSU, which collected six hits, snapped a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth on Coffey’s one-out solo homer. The Tigers added another solo shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth from Georgia Clark.

Kilponen, who retired 12 of the first 14 batters she faced, threw her fifth complete game of the season, striking out seven with no walks. She threw 64 of her 97 pitches for strikes.

The lone scoring threat for Michigan (9-9) came in the top of the fourth. Ellie Sieler singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. She attempted to score on Maddie Erickson’s single, but LSU center fielder Ciara Briggs, a gold glove winner last season, threw home where catcher Maci Bergeron applied the tag for the second out of the inning.

The Wolverines didn’t get a runner past second base the remainder of the way.

After entering the season with one career homer, Coffey (2-for-3) homered for the second time this season on a 2-2 pitch from losing pitcher Jessica LeBeau (5-4) to left-center field.  

Clark made it 2-0 in the sixth, leading off with her fourth homer of the season on a 3-2 pitch from LeBeau to left-center field.

LSU threatened early with Coffey and Briggs picking up consecutive singles in the first but were left stranded at second and third base when McKenzie Redoutey struck out swinging to end the inning. The Tigers loaded the bases in the second inning with singles from Karli Petty and Gutierrez, along with a walk from Bergeron, but Coffey struck out swinging and Briggs grounded out.

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William Weathers

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