SLU Advances to NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Final With 6-2 Win Over Clemson

SLU Advances to NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Final With 6-2 Win Over Clemson
SLU Advances to NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Final With 6-2 Win Over Clemson

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After its second 6-2 victory over No. 21 Clemson in as many days, the Southeastern Louisiana University softball team advances to the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional final Saturday night at Rhodes Stadium.

Southeastern (47-14), which tied its single-season school record for victories, bounced back from a hard-fought extra-inning loss to Alabama to open the day and eliminated the Tigers (35-19) in the final game of the day. SLU will have to beat the host Crimson Tide twice on Sunday to become the first Southland Conference team to advance to the Super Regionals. Sunday’s first game is set for 1 pm

“This was a long day for us,” Southeastern head coach Rick Fremin he said. “There was a lot of emotion in that first game and we expended a lot of energy (against Alabama). But this group is relentless and we were able to bounce back against a very good Clemson team and give ourselves the opportunity to compete on championship “Sunday.”

Ka’Lyn Watson led SLU at the plate in the win over Clemson, finishing 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Maddie Watson also drove in a pair of runs for Southeastern.

Ellie DuBois (16-5) earned his second win of the regional, allowing two runs in 4.2 innings of work. Blanchard Wax tossed 2.1 innings of shutout relief to close out the win for the Lady Lions.

In the opening game of the day, a five-run ninth inning helped Alabama (35-17) to a 6-3 extra-inning victory over SLU. Blanchard (18-3) was the tough-luck loser in the circle for the Lady Lions, scattering five hits and striking out four in 8.1 innings of work.
Maria Detillier and Bailey Krolczyk each drove in runs for SLU in the loss.

Game One – Alabama 6, Southeastern 3 (9 Innings)

Blanchard and Alabama starter Kayla Beaver (17-8) matched zeroes until the top of the fourth inning. Marlie Giles drew a two-out walk and scored on a SLU error to give the Crimson Tide a 1-0 advantage.

Southeastern finally got to Beaver in the bottom of the sixth inning. Audrey Greely led off the frame with a single, then moved to third on a single by Ka’Lyn Watson. The speedy duo then pulled off a double steal to knot the game at 1-1.

Alabama broke the tie at the top of the ninth inning. After Blanchard issued a walk to Jenna Johnson, Riley Valentine hit a pinch-hit two-run home run over the left field fence to give the Crimson Tide a 3-1 lead. Two-out RBI singles by Kristen White and Kenleigh Cahalan extended the Alabama advantage to 6-1.

Beaver made the lead stand up, though SLU attempted to rally in the bottom of the ninth inning. Cam Goodman led off the frame with an infield single, then Chloe Magee reached on an error by Beaver. After a wild pitch advanced both runners into scoring position, a Detillier sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Krolczyk cut the lead to 6-3. Beaver settled down and retired Lexi Johnson to close out the win.

Game Two – Southeastern 6, Clemson 2

Southeastern took the lead in the bottom of the first inning against Clemson starter Brooke McCubbin (10-3). Singles by Ka’Lyn Watson and Krolczyk put runners at the corners with one out. Johnson then beat out an infield single to score Watson. Maddie Watson followed with a two-run double in the right centerfield gap to score Krolczyk and Johnson and give SLU a 3-0 advantage.

At the top of the second inning, Clemson put a pair of runners in scoring position with one out, but DuBois retired Aby Vieira and struck out Arielle Oda to keep the Tigers off the board.

Millie Thompson took over in the circle for Clemson at the bottom of the second inning and SLU was able to pad her lead. After Goodman reached on an error, Ka’Lyn Watson powered his sixth home run of the season over the left field fence to push the Southeastern lead to 5-0.

DuBois worked out of trouble in the top of the third inning. After allowing a triple leadoff to McKenzie Clark, she retired the next three Tigers she faced to leave the Tigers scoreless.

Southeastern added to his lead and chased Thompson in the bottom of the third inning. despues de Maddie Watson was hit by a pitch, Greely lined a triple into the right field corner to give SLU a 6-0 lead.

Clemson finally broke through against DuBois in the top of the fifth inning. A two-run home run over the left field fence by Clark pulled the Tigers closer, cutting the Southeastern advantage to 6-2. A single by Maddie Moore chased DuBois, but Blanchard came in and retired reigning National Player of the Year Valerie Cagle to keep the deficit at four.

A Clark walk with two outs in the seventh inning was all Clemson would manage against Blanchard, as she forced JoJo Hyatt to ground out to Detillier to secure the victory.

2024 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional | Rhoads Stadium | May 17-19, 2024 | Double-Elimination

Friday, May 17
Game 1 | Southeastern 6, Clemson 2

Game 2 | Alabama 1, USC Upstate 0

Saturday, May 18
Game 3 | Alabama 6, Southeastern 3 (9 Innings)

Game 4 | Clemson 8, USC Upstate 0 (6 Innings)
Game 5 | Southeastern 6, Clemson 2

Sunday, May 19
Game 6 | Southeastern vs. Alabama | 1 pm

Game 7 | Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser (if necessary) | 3:30 pm

SOCIAL MEDIA

For more information on Southeastern Softball, follow @LionUpSoftball on X and Instagram, like /LionUpAthletics on Facebook.

HOME RUN CLUB / S CLUB

Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the softball program are encouraged to join the Home Run Club. Lady Lion softball alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.

All membership fees and donations to both the Home Run Club and S Club (softball) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern softball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at [email protected] or (985) 549-5091 or visiting www.LionUp.com.

TICKETS

For ticket information, please contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit . Southeastern offers mobile ticketing as the primary source for securing tickets. All tickets will be available via e-mail in a PDF format for fans to download on their phone or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded to Apple Wallet.

CLEAR BAG POLICY

Southeastern Athletics has a clear bag policy for all ticketed events. For more information on the clear bag policy, visit www.LionSports.net/clear.

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