MINNEAPOLIS (WAFB) - No. 10 LSU is one of six SEC teams among the 16 remaining for the Super Regional round that actually gets underway Thursday night, but the Tigers will take on No. 7-seed Minnesota in a three-game double elimination Minneapolis Super Regional starting Friday.
The Tigers worked in the batting cages Thursday afternoon before heading into Jane Sage Cowles Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. Looking at this matchup, both teams are pretty evenly matched across the board. The Tigers have a slight advantage in team batting average and home runs, while the Gophers have a higher fielding percentage and have committed fewer errors than LSU this season.
"We know they have a really good arm on the mound," said head coach Beth Torina. "And I think she'd give any team trouble. She's really talented, so I think we're going to have to find some ways to score some runs and contain their offense. They're tough, one through nine, so we're going to have to do a good job defensively against them."
LSU will lean on the experience of veterans like Amber Serrett and Amanda Sanchez in this series. The pair shared a bit on their mindset heading into this series with the Gophers.
"I think it's going to be a great weekend," said Serrett. "Like coach said, not one moment is bigger than the other. We've played every game as if it was the most important, so we're going to do the same with this one."
"You always want to take care of business, but you don't want to look too far ahead because that's when you can get ahead of yourself," added Sanchez. "So, just take it pitch-by-pitch, not make it bigger than what it is, and just have fun, honestly. You have to enjoy these types of moments because you're never going to be on this team with these people again, so just take it pitch-by-pitch."
Before the team left Baton Rouge, Torina said the bottom half of the lineup will be key for the Tigers in this series. They have to produce hits and runs and move runners into scoring position in order to keep the pressure on this Minnesota team. The Gophers have a 1.66 team ERA this season, which ranks ninth in the entire country.
The Tigers face the Gophers Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m., and if needed, Sunday at 3 p.m.