The 21st-ranked Louisiana State softball team went 5-1 over the weekend in the LSU Invitational with wins over Troy, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech and Central Connecticut State to move to 17-6 on the season. Ace pitcher Ali Kilponen improved her team-best record to 8-2.
But she will remember the first weekend of March for another reason: her baptism.
Kilponen posted a video of the baptism to her Instagram account on Sunday, and in the caption quoted Galatians 3:26-27: “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
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“Today I decided to clothe myself in Christ and surrender myself to His plan,” she wrote in the post. “I’m forever thankful for all the love and support I was shown today. A special day filled with special people. There has been a light in my life and I’m so excited to see what His plan has in store for me.”
LSU assistant coach Lindsay Leftwich also tweeted pictures of the baptism, calling it the “biggest win of the weekend.”
The biggest win of the weekend… @AliKilponen making a public profession of her faith in baptism. The fact I GET TO watch Jesus move in these people hearts is something I am so grateful. Thanks @LsuFCA for loving our people. pic.twitter.com/6tOL7fdKKL
— Lindsay Leftwich (@LLefty18) March 7, 2022
A preseason first-team All-SEC selection, Kilponen leads the Tigers in innings pitched (60.1), wins (8) and strikeouts (55). Her 1.16 ERA also ranks first on the team — which is ranked No. 21 in the county in the latest D1Softball poll — among pitchers who have thrown multiple innings.
— LSU Softball (@LSUsoftball) March 4, 2022
The Highlands Ranch, Colorado, native made 15 appearances as a freshman in 2019, going 5-3 with a 3.55 ERA. She was as good as any pitcher in the country before the 2020 season was cut short by the pandemic, posting a 6-1 record with a 0.58 ERA in nine games.
That set the stage for last season, when she threw 139.2 innings and 10 complete games while registering a 2.00 ERA. LSU went 35-22 overall and reached the NCAA Super Regional, where the Tigers fell to Florida State.
As of Tuesday, Kilponen is one of three SEC pitchers to log more than 60 innings and have an ERA under 1.20.
The Tigers are off until Friday when they begin SEC play with a three-game series against Alabama, ranked No. 2 in the D1Softball poll.
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