It was Taylor-made for a Pleasant(s) ending Sunday afternoon.
LSU freshman Taylor Pleasants made sure it was a great Senior Day while the Tigers’ softball program recorded its 1,200th win in history when she belted a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 4-1 win over Auburn in the deciding game of the final SEC regular season series.
The Tigers finished the regular season 31-18 overall and 13-11 in the Southeastern Conference while Auburn wrapped up at 27-21 overall and 7-17 in the SEC. LSU will be the fifth seed in the SEC tournament in Tuscaloosa and will play in Wednesday’s second game of the day the winner of the 12-13 seed game featuring Auburn and South Carolina.
Auburn would love to get another shot at LSU. AU starting pitcher Shelby Lowe (13-8) took a one-hitter into the sixth with her team leading 1-0. The visitors had its scored run in the fourth inning when Maddison Koepke singled to center field and pinch runner Kaylee Horton scored from second after LSU catcher Morgan Cummins dropped the ball on the tag at home.
In the LSU sixth, Tigers’ pinch hitter Ali Newland led off with a single and Aliyah Andrews and Ciara Briggs followed with consecutive infield singles to load the bases as Pleasants came to plate.
Pleasants watched AU’s Lowe fire the first two pitches high for balls and then Lowe’s third pitch inside was called ball three drawing the ire of the Auburn coaching staff. Lowe, trying to get a strike and hoping Pleasants was ordered to take the 3-0 pitch, threw her fourth pitch down the middle.
Lowe guessed wrong. Pleasants smashed ball into the wind and deep into the center field stands for a grand slam and the eventual margin of victory.
LSU starter Ali Kilponen (14-6) took care of Auburn in its last at-bat to get the win. She allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings.
The Tigers, the fifth seed in this week’s SEC tournament in Tuscaloosa, Ala., face the Auburn-South Carolina winner at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.