Aggie softball team set for top 15 showdown at lsu aggie sports theeagle.com k electric bill statement

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Walters said she and her teammates were able to block out the fans, helping A&M win the last game of that series in 2015. Walters and the Aggies return this weekend for a key Top 15 matchup in Southeastern Conference action. Game one will be at 6 p.m. Friday, game 2 at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and game 3 at 4 p.m. Sunday.

The ninth-ranked Aggies (36-10, 9-6) and 15th-ranked Tigers (33-10, 7-7) are vying to return to the Women’s College World Series. LSU got there last year for the third straight season despite being seeded 13th because of strong pitching. That’s still the team’s strong suit with senior right-handers Allie Walljasper (12-4, 0.90 ERA) and Carley Hoover (14-5, 1.20 ERA). They are a combined 126-49 for their careers, 3-0 against A&M, though the two teams didn’t play last season.

“Walljasper has great offspeed [stuff], and she does a good job with her location and throws hard,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “Hoover throws hard; she just throws gas, goes right at you. There’s not a lot of pitchers in the country who throw 70 [mph], and those kids can really bring it. So it just gives you a different look than you’re used to seeing.”

Walters, along with shortstop Kristen Cuyos, center fielder Erica Russell and first baseman Tori Vidales, all started against LSU as freshmen. As they’ve grown, they’ve helped the Aggies reach the WCWS last season for the first time since 2008.

“I remember a few years ago when [A&M] came in here, and they were all freshmen,” said LSU coach Beth Torina on Tiger TV. “Now they’re a veteran team, all juniors and seniors. They have a diverse pitching staff. We have our work cut out for us.”

“Their crowd gets into it,” Evans said. “You’ll probably hear things you haven’t heard all season long, and our kids expect it. It’s part of what you get when you go to LSU. The crowd is engaged and involved, and they love their team. We look at it as the kind of atmosphere you want to play in.”

NOTES — A&M has played only six true road games this season, the fewest of any SEC team, going 2-4. “I think we’re prepared,” Evans said. “You’re always talking to your team about keeping the game simple, don’t try to do too much and our kids understand that.” … LSU’s 1.25 ERA is eighth in the country. … LSU has only three .300 hitters — sophomore outfielder Aliyah Andrews (.349, 7 RBIs, 34 SBs), sophomore infielder Amanda Doyle (.338, 6 HRs, 40 RBIs) and senior outfielder Emily Griggs (.312, 18 RBIs). … LSU leads the series 10-9 with the last meeting a 5-4 LSU victory in the 2016 SEC tournament. … A&M’s leading hitter is sophomore right fielder Sarah Hudek (.352, 5 HRs, 24 RBIs) followed by Walters (.343, 4 HRs, 31 RBIs), junior left fielder Keeli Milligan (.331, 25 SBs), Vidales (.321, 8 HRs, 44 RBIs) and Russell (.301, 6 RBIs). … Hudek has a 10-game hitting streak. … Walters said Hoover and Walljasper complement each other well, but the Aggies will go in with the mindset to attack. … A&M will open $28.6-million Davis Diamond next weekend against Auburn. Friday’s game in the 2,000-seat facility is sold out and a limited number remain for the other two games.