Pleasants Walks It Off, A Historic Day for Berzon Leads LSU to 3-2, 14-Inning Win Over Alabama

Shortstop Taylor Pleasants hit a run-scoring single in the 14th inning to complete the comeback, while pitcher Sydney Berzon set a record for innings pitched in an SEC tournament game. LSU has six walk-off wins this season.

AUBURN, Ala. – Shortstop Taylor Pleasants hit a run-scoring single in the 14th inning, and pitcher Sydney Berzon set an SEC Tournament single-game record in innings pitched as LSU walked off Alabama, 3-2 to open the 2024 SEC Tournament Wednesday at Jane B. Moore Field.

In the 14th inning, with the score tied 2-2, designated player Sierra Daniel hit a leadoff single to center field, and outfielder Ciara Briggs followed with a single to left field. First baseman Raeleen Gutierrez hit another single to center field to load the bases with one out, in which Pleasants stepped to the plate and laced a ball to the center field wall to plate the game-winning run. Pleasants now has three walk-off hits this season. 

“Our team was in this game,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “We were going to be hard to beat no matter how long we stayed out there. Our dugout, bench, and supporters were in this game, and though we didn’t get a break, I don’t think there was a moment where I wasn’t confident that this game wasn’t on our side.”

LSU has six walk-off wins this season and holds a 5-1 record in extra-inning games. The Bayou Bengals registered the SEC Tournament’s first walk-off since 2022 (Tennessee def. Mississippi State, 1-0 in 13 innings) and LSU’s last walk-off win in the conference tournament since defeating Texas A&M, 5-4 in 2016.     

“I think the big thing with this team is that there has been a lot of positives, especially some moments where this team has shown they have as much fight and grit as any team in the country,” said coach Torina. “They have more walk-off wins than I can count, and that is due to their grit and toughness, which is what you want out of a team. I want them to go out and battle their opponents. Today was a great reminder of what kind of team we are, and we have done this throughout the season. Regardless of what happens tomorrow, we will go out and battle and give Tennessee a great game.”

LSU has a 39-14 record and eliminated Alabama from the tournament, which is 33-17 this season. 

Berzon (18-7) earned the win after tossing five strikeouts in a career-high 14.0 innings of work and fired 208 pitches in the complete game victory. Berzon threw 13 consecutive shutout innings after allowing two runs in the first. Overall, Berzon gave up eight hits and six walks.

Berzon’s 14.0 innings pitched are an SEC and LSU record for the most innings thrown in an SEC Tournament game. In the LSU Softball record book, Berzon is tied at No. 3 all-time for most innings pitched in a single game with Rachele Fico (2013 at Mississippi State) and Brittany Mack (2011 vs. Alabama). 

Pitcher Jocelyn Briski (7-5) was charged the loss after allowing a run on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts in 7.1 innings. Pitcher Kayla Beaver started the game by logging six strikeouts and allowing two hits, two runs, and four walks in 6.0 innings. 

LSU turned in its 17th game of the season with double-digit hits, led by Gutierrez’s three hits, which marked her 30th career multi-hit game. Gutierrez also scored one run and set a career-high with 24 putouts. Including the game-winning RBI single, Pleasants had two hits, drew three walks, and turned in a career-high nine assists. Pleasants now ranks No. 2 all-time in program history with 504 career assists. Daniel also had two hits and scored the game-winning run. Catcher Maci Bergeron and outfielders McKenzie Redoutey and Briggs accounted for the other hits. Bergeron added an RBI. 

Alabama scored on a two-run double by second baseman Kali Heivilin in the first inning.

After both teams stayed scoreless for the next four innings, Redoutey wore a pitch to get on base, and Gutierrez hit a single that put runners on the corners with one out. Pleasants drew a walk to load the bases. After Beaver struck out the next batter, she walked Bergeron and hit pinch hitter Kelley Lynch, tying the game 2-2 through six innings. Neither team crossed a run in the seventh inning, forcing extras, and both clubs remained scoreless until the 14th inning.

Up Next

LSU will challenge the top-seeded Tennessee Lady Vols at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 9.

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Tiger Rag News Services

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