Two big innings were enough for No. 21 LSU and ace pitcher Ali Kilponen in a 7-2 win Friday at Mississippi State in the opening game of a Southeastern Conference series.
Senior Shelbi Sunseri belted a three-run homer in the first inning and the Tigers (33-19, 12-10 in SEC) never trailed. They added four more runs and outhit Mississippi State 8-4 overall with the series resuming at 2 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcast locally by 107.3-FM and streamed by the SEC Network+
Kilponen (18-5) allowed single runs in each of the first and third innings and got help from her defense which turned two double plays, including one of the seventh inning. The junior walked five and struck out one en route to her 15th complete game of the season.
LSU, which moved into a tie with Georgia for fifth in the SEC standings, set the table for Sunseri when Ciara Briggs (2-for-4) singled and Georgia Clark walked. Sunseri crushed her 15th homer of the season, tying Clark for the team lead in that category.
Mississippi State (31-22, 9-13) got within 3-2 in the third when LSU increased its lead to 7-2 with a four-run fourth.
The Tigers loaded the bases and scored their first run on Danieca Coffey’s bases-loaded walk. Briggs followed with an RBI-single and Pleasants added a two-run single up the middle into center field.