LSU, led by head coach Beth Torina for the last 11 seasons, made their 15th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021 making it to the NCAA Super Regionals held in Baton Rouge before losing to Florida State. Along with trips to the Women’s College World Series in 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
This year LSU looks like they should have another good season. While I do think the Tigers will keep their streak of making it into the NCAA Tournament again I don’t see them making it to the WCWS. Head coach Torina will have a young team this year that will need a year of seasoning. Look for a big run from them next season though with a legitimate chance of bringing a Softball National Championship to Baton Rouge.
There are two main reasons I don’t see LSU making it to the WCWS this season. Those reasons include a lack of hitting. The team has several holes in the lineup that will allow opponents to pitch around big bats like shortstop Taylor Pleasants (13 home runs, team-high 49 RBI in 2021 .316BA) and Georgia Clark who has lots of power but can be a streaky hitter. LSU does have several freshmen that show promise that could help with that problem.
The second problem with LSU is their fielding and the need to cut down on their errors. Fielding errors that extend an inning a lot of time lead to unearned runs on the scoreboard for their opponents.
All is not negative though because when you think of LSU great pitching comes to mind and this year is no exception. Ali Kilponen, Shelbi Sunseri, and Shelby Wickersham are all back to anchor the staff along with some freshmen prospects. Sunseri also has a lot to offer the team as a DH. Last season though her hitting numbers were down.
Playing in the tough SEC is an advantage preparing teams come playoff time. Look for LSU to win their share of games this season and make the big tourney but not go deep in it unless things improve with their hitting and fielding problems.