LSU claims rubber match against Florida behind potent offense
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- After splitting the first two games of the series and nullifying both teams undefeated marks, all that was left was the rubber match on Sunday between No. T3 LSU and No. 1 Florida. LSU scored 10 after UF jumped to a 3-0 lead pull out ahead for good and claim the series in a 10-3 victory Sunday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
LSU (27-1, 5-1 Southeastern) finished the series outhitting the top-ranked Gators (28-2, 1-2) in all three games on the weekend after earning double-digit runs on 12 hits, including using a pair of errors against Florida on Sunday. The Tigers claimed a series against the Gators for the first time since 2006 and the first time in Gainesville since 2005.
“I think we had a lot of things going for us, and when we came into the series we had a few question marks. But I think after this weekend some of those things have been solidified and this team is going to be more confident going forward,” head coach Beth Torina said.
Although early it looked like a good start might go spoiled, the Tigers regrouped and allowed LSU starter Kelsee Selman (6-0) to pitch confidently in the circle as she limited Florida to three runs on four hits, while striking out a season-high 11 with only two walks in the complete game effort.
“I think I just had quality pitches, and I went out there with the mindset that every pitch meant something,” Selman said. “I think I was more confident because I knew that they were going to score the runs for me, and outside of one pitch, I still felt like the team had my back and would come through.”
Selman was right as all nine LSU players that had an at-bat in the contest earned a hit, with none being bigger than Bianka Bell’s three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning that gave LSU the lead for good on a 3-for-5 afternoon with a career-high five RBIs and two runs scored.
“The biggest thing for us now is that we know what we’re capable of and how we need to perform against any team that is in front of us,” Bell said. “We still have a lot of games to play, and we need to play like this no matter what other team is front of us for the rest of the season.”
Bailey Landry extended her hitting streak to 20-games as she went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored, as Kellsi Kloss drove in two RBIs against Florida.