No. 12 LSU softball can’t hold four-run lead, drops series opener to Missouri

LSU first baseman Raeleen Gutierrez records steps on the bag to record an out against Missouri in Thursday's game. PHOTO BY: LSU athletics

The No. 12 LSU softball team couldn’t hold on to an early four-run lead and dropped the first game of SEC series Thursday to Missouri, 8-6, at Tiger Park.

The two teams resume their series, weather pending, at 6 p.m. Friday. The game will be streamed on the SEC Network+ and carried locally by 107.3-FM.

“We didn’t play well,” LSU softball coach Beth Torina said. “We made some bad decisions, gave up so many trail runners and gave them too many free passes. Our team this year has been able to come back and rebound well. You can see the vision of how this game could have been different.”

LSU (31-7, 4-6 in SEC) jumped out to a 5-1 lead through four innings with three runs in the fourth coming on Danieca Coffey’s bases-loaded triple to right-center field. Coffey, Karli Petty and Taylor Pleasants each had two each hits.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the second on Pleasants’ RBI-bunt single and Maci Bergeron’s base-loaded walk.

Missouri (23-16, 3-10) knocked LSU starter Sydney Berzon out of the game in the fifth inning. The visiting Tigers scored four times in the fifth and added three more against losing pitcher Ali Kilponen (9-4) in the sixth.

Walks were a main culprit for both pitchers with Berzon walking five batters in 4.2 innings. She allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits with six strikeouts. Kilponen worked 2.1 innings and surrendered three runs (two earned) on four hits. She walked two and struck out one.

LSU brought the potential tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh after Georgia Clark reached on an error. Pinch-runner Maia Townsend took over on the base paths and stole second base and after two straight outs Pleasants bunted her way on, but pinch-hitter Savannah Stewart grounded out to end the game.

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William Weathers

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