LSU set to defend NFCA title

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2005

BATON ROUGE – Riding a seven-game winning streak, the 10th-ranked LSU softball team travels to defend its 2004 NFCA Leadoff Classic championship this weekend in Columbus, Ga.

LSU (7-1) will close out pool play on pool play against nationally ranked Fresno State on Saturday at 9 a.m. (CT). Following pool play, the teams will be divided into three brackets – gold, silver and bronze – based on their pool records, for play on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

The Tigers are led offensively by freshman Quinlan Duhon with a .520 batting average. The Youngsville native has recorded three doubles and three home runs, including a three-run shot that ended the run-rule game against McNeese State on Wednesday. As a team, LSU leads the Southeastern Conference with a .387 batting average and a .627 slugging percentage, while averaging over eight runs a game.

In the circle, sophomore Emily Turner leads the team with a 3-0 record and a 0.93 earned run average. As a team, the Tigers post a 1.29 ERA with over eight strikeouts a game.

This is the seventh appearance for LSU in the NFCA Leadoff Classic. The Tigers are 18-11 all-time, winning the title last year after defeating four top 10-ranked teams.

LSU has only one previous meeting with Texas State (5-10), defeating the school formerly known as Southwest Texas, 13-0, in Tiger Park in 2000. Girouard is 12-1 all-time against the Bobcats, all while at UL-Lafayette.

In two previous meeting with Seton Hall (2-3), LSU is undefeated. The Tigers defeated the Pirates in the NFCA Leadoff Classic in 2001 and again in NCAA Regional play last season on the way to the Women’s College World Series. Girouard is 2-0 against Seton Hall all-time, both while at LSU.

Against Fresno State, the Tigers are 1-0 all-time after defeating the Bulldogs in the NFCA Leadoff Classic in 2003. Girouard is 2-1 all-time against Fresno State.