Will LSU softball’s momentum be stopped by Tennessee pitching?

Will LSU softball’s momentum be stopped by Tennessee pitching?

As her LSU team prepared to host a three-game series against No. 5 Tennessee, Beth Torina had one stat on her mind.

The Lady Vols have surrendered just 13 runs this season, Torina said as she flashed a nervous smile. They’ve played 22 games. For context, Auburn has allowed the second-fewest runs in the Southeastern Conference. They’ve let 42 across.

“That’s definitely where we’ve got to figure out how to do damage against their really tough pitching staff,” Torina said. “Just figuring out how to get to their pitching staff will be the big challenge for the weekend.”

Tennessee (21-1, 3-0 SEC) leads the conference in nearly every pitching category. The Lady Vols’ 0.62 ERA is nearly a full run lower than Auburn’s second-best mark, 1.51. They’ve also posted conference-best totals in opposing batting average (.121), called strikeouts (55) and hits allowed (56), including doubles, triples and home runs.

The Lady Vols have pitched the fewest innings in the conference — a sign that they retire opposing hitters quickly and easily, and that most of their games have ended via mercy rule.

Graduate student Ashley Rogers will likely start against LSU (23-2, 2-1) in the series opener at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by senior Payton Gottshall and freshman Karlyn Pickens.

Rogers, one of the most decorated pitchers in the SEC, is sporting an impressive 0.54 ERA, even lower than her career average of 1.59. And her ERA isn’t even the best on the team: Gottshall, a transfer from Bowling Green, has a 0.29 ERA, and Pickens’ is 0.53. Her fastball tops 70 mph.

LSU, meanwhile, will need a boost from power hitters in the middle of its lineup. Its two table-setters, Danieca Coffey and Ciara Briggs, have been excellent. Coffey’s .464 batting average is third in the SEC, and Briggs’ .398 average ranks 18th.

They lead an LSU lineup that ranks third in batting average (.344), third in on-base percentage (.438) and second in total hits (233). But the Tigers are sixth in slugging percentage (.521), eighth in runs scored (166) and eighth in home runs (25).


About Mary Weyand 20302 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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