OKLAHOMA CITY — LSU jumped out to a huge lead, then withstood a furious comeback attempt to oust SEC rival Alabama from the Women’s College World Series with a 6-4 victory Saturday afternoon.
With the win, LSU (51-17) is guaranteed to face another SEC foe — Auburn or Georgia — in its next game, Sunday at 2:30 p.m. central. Auburn and Georgia played later Saturday, with the loser of that game playing LSU on Sunday.
The loss eliminated the Crimson Tide (51-14) from the World Series. It is the second straight year that LSU has knocked Alabama out of the WCWS.
On Saturday, LSU jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead when senior first baseman Sandra Simmons — in the game’s first at-bat — sent a home run over the right-field fence. The Tigers added to their lead with a run in the third before exploding in the fourth.
Simmons singled to left field, driving in teammate Amber Serrett. During the next at-bat, Emily Griggs scored and Simmons advanced to third on a passed ball.
Two batters later, junior Sahvanna Jaquish’s two-run double extended LSU’s lead to 6-1.
One moment in the bottom of the fifth inning seemed to epitomize that Saturday simply wasn’t Alabama’s day.
With two outs, Alabama senior Haylie McCleney ripped one into left center field and appeared to be headed toward an easy triple. But she slipped between second and third base, and LSU got the ball back to the infield and tagged McCleney out when she tried to get back to second.
Still, the Crimson Tide wouldn’t go quietly. Senior Leona Lafaele hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning and Alabama added two more runs to pull within two of the Tigers entering the seventh inning.
But it all turned out to be too little, too late.