OKLAHOMA CITY — Another first inning home run led to another victory for LSU in the Women’s College World Series.
Senior third baseman Bianka Bell’s early two-run shot — and another homer later in the game — propelled the Tigers to a 4-1 victory over SEC rival Georgia on Sunday afternoon, eliminating the Bulldogs and putting LSU just two wins from a spot in the best-of-three WCWS championship series.
Of course, it won’t be easy for the Tigers, who must now beat No. 3 Oklahoma — the highest-seeded team remaining in the field — twice to keep their season alive. The Tigers and Sooners play at 8:30 p.m. (CT) Sunday. An LSU loss ends its season, while a Tigers victory would force an if-necessary game Monday night to determine who advances to the championship series against either Auburn or Florida State.
Oklahoma enters Sunday night’s contest having won a school-record 29 straight games.
LSU (52-17) is making its fifth all-time — and second consecutive — Women’s College World Series appearance, but the Tigers have never reached the championship series.
LSU jumped out to a fast start in the first inning Sunday with Bell’s two-run blast. She added a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth, and now has hit a team-leading 14 home runs this season.
It was the second straight day that LSU grabbed that kind of early momentum, as first baseman and leadoff hitter Sandra Simmons opened Saturday’s win over Alabama with a solo shot.
On Sunday, LSU added another run in the bottom of the sixth on second baseman Constance Quinn’s RBI double.
Sophomore pitcher Carley Hoover went the distance for LSU, allowing only three hits and one run while improving her record this season to 22-8.
Sunday’s game ended Georgia’s phenomenal and unlikely postseason run that included a super regional sweep of No. 1-ranked and two-time defending national champion Florida.
The Bulldogs — making their third-ever WCWS appearance and first since 2010 — end the 2016 season with a 46-20 record.