Information provided by LSU Sports
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - LSU's chance to start 2-0 in the Women's College World Series for the first time in six appearances couldn't come to fruition Friday night at Hall of Fame Stadium-CGE Energy Field as SEC rival and the tournament's top seed, Florida, scored a 7-0 win over the Tigers.
It was Chelsea's Herndon's first-post season hit, a two-run double, that broke open a scoreless game and plated what would be the winning runs to put the Gators up 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning.
LSU now switches to the bottom bracket and will play at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night against the winner of an elimination game earlier on Saturday between Oregon and Baylor. The Tigers would need to win that game to advance to the Sunday bracket championship against the winner of the late game Friday between Washington and Oklahoma.
The Tigers (48-21) would need three wins to get to the best-of-three championship series.
Carley Hoover (15-8) took the loss for the Tigers (4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2K) while Kelly Barnhill (26-3) pitched a two hitter to pick up the win for the Gators. Sahvanna Jaquish had one hit as the second batter of the game and Bailey Landry had a bunt single in the sixth.
In the decisive top of the fourth for Florida, Aleshia Ocasio led off with a walk and then was sacrificed to second. Jordan Roberts was hit by a pitch. That brought up Herndon who was 0-for-12 in the post-season, including 0-4 in the WCWS. Hoover's pitch was up in the zone and Herndon, turned on the pitch and sent it down the right field line. LSU's outfield was set the other way and there was a big gap that allowed the ball to roll almost to the fence.
Ocasio and pinch runner Alex Voss scored to make it 2-0 Florida on Herndon's fourth double of the year. The Tigers prevented the deficit from being even bigger as first baseman Amanda Doyle was able to nail Herndon at the plate on a bang-bang tag by Jaquish to end the inning.
Florida added a run in the sixth inning on a solo home run by Janell Wheaton off Allie Walljasper that made it 3-0. It was her first career home run in the NCAA Tournament. Florida would add four more runs in the seventh inning.