No. 2 LSU handles No. 4 Texas in midweek, improves to 23-0

Courtesy of LSU Athletics

No. 2 LSU has answered every question this season. The Tigers have continued to find ways to win against top-tier competition. Sydney Berzon leads a deep pitching staff. Taylor Pleasants and Ciara Briggs set the foundation for a great defense. Ali Newland and Raeleen Gutierrez are enjoying career years at the plate in a veteran-heavy lineup. Even freshmen Sierra Daniel and Maddox McKee have done well to band-aid the loss of Danieca Coffey due to a season-ending injury.

We saw all that in the Tigers’ 7-4 win over No. 4 Texas in Baton Rouge on Tuesday. LSU rode a five-run first inning to the victory. Talented Texas freshman Teagan Kavan did not have her best stuff in the circle. She walked, hit a pair of batters and had a wild pitch. Despite the control issues, Gutierrez and Kelley Lynch stayed aggressive knowing how good Kavan has been with two strikes this season. Each smacked a double to make Kavan pay for the free passes and chased her from the game before she got out of the first inning.

Berzon’s final line isn’t stunning by any means. Although she’s not generally the flashy pitcher in the win she wins anyway. Berzon can be gritty and composed as she was against the talented Texas lineup.

She only allowed two hits through the first two innings, though Texas made the adjustment and broke through in the third. Berzon isn’t the pitcher that teams will be able to power over the fence. The Longhorns instead played her game and hit hard singles through the infield. Texas opened the third with four singles to get the ball rolling. Then paired that with an error by LSU and a sacrifice fly, the Longhorns were back in it.

Texas tacked on another run in the fourth to pull within two. That’s when Berzon turned it up a notch. She got Katie Stewart to ground out with runners at the corners to end the threat. And those would be the last Texas baserunners. Berzon retired the last 10 batters she faced and picked up three of her four strikeouts on the day. Beth Torina has shown she’ll ride Berzon to the end and we see the reason for that.

Pleasants didn’t necessarily have her best day defensively, not making every play we typically see her make but that’s because she has set the standard so high for herself. Regardless, she still had a smooth double play and an incredible throw from the hole to put a bow on the win.

Newland had a great diving catch in left as well. Daniel, who the broadcast mentioned hasn’t played much third base in her life, has settled in and she had a triple to help add an insurance run later on in the game.

With how the season has gone for the Tigers, they should and will be considered for the top spot for the No. 1 ranking if they take care of business against Ole Miss this weekend. However, the Tigers probably don’t care about a March poll. This roster is built for June, it’s built to end the Women’s College World Series drought that’s been there since 2017 and it’s built to give LSU a shot at being a national champion.

Previous articleTuesday Trends: Sanders hot bat, UCLA pitching duo, Florida offense
Next articleCan Texas State host a regional in 2024?