STARKVILLE, Miss. --No. 7 seed LSU is heading to the SEC Tournament semifinals after upsetting No. 2 seed Kentucky 3-1 in a defensive showdown. This marks LSU's first win against Kentucky this year after the Wildcats shut out the Tigers in a three-game regular season series.
LSU sophomore hurler Carley Hoover (17-7) led the Tigers with efficient pitching, allowing only three hits and one run across 99 pitches in a complete game. Hoover improved to 6-1 in her last eight starts and has only allowed six hits in 21 innings.
"She did a great job of just keeping them off balance," said head coach Beth Torina. "Her pitches were all over the zone and she did a good job of just being Carley Hoover. That's what she does. She competes for us. She carries us. She's enthusiastic. She pulls for us and she's just a great competitor."
LSU improved to 13-0 when it does not commit an error.
LSU batters found success in the top of the 5th inning against junior pitcher Meagan Prince. Singles by Amber Serrett and Emily Griggs put runners on first and second, prompting Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson to send veteran pitcher Kelsey Nunley to the circle.
Sandra Simmons sent Nunley's third pitch deep over the right-center wall, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead. It was Simmons third home run of the season.
"She's worked hard for everything she's gotten this year," Torina said. "She studies. She practices. She takes reps. The kid never takes a day off. She's just a consistent worker for us. She's another one that's a senior that deserves everything she gets because she earns it. She works for it. I'm so proud of her in this moment."
No. 7 seed LSU will face No. 3 seed Tennessee tomorrow at 3 pm ET / 4 pm CT on ESPNU in the Conference Semifinals.