LSU defeats South Carolina 8-0 to take series
BATON ROUGE, La. – Going for the series victory, the No. 14 LSU softball team scored seven runs over the course of two innings in an eventual 8-0 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks in five innings Saturday evening at Tiger Park in the fifth-annual “Strikeout Ovarian Cancer” game.
With their winning streak now extended to five games, the Tigers (35-13, 9-11 Southeastern) were efficient in all areas Saturday, needing just eight hits to plate all eight runs as seven LSU players earned a hit on the night. The win also kept the team’s record spotless in the teal contest, moving to 5-0 in the annual event.
“I knew that we were going to be playing our best softball at the end and I think that I really like the performance we got from our team tonight,” head coach Beth Torina said.
LSU was led at the plate by senior Bianka Bell who went 2-for-2 with a double and three RBIs. She was walked once on the night, as in the process she passed Rachel Mitchell for the program career-high in walks with 123 in her career.
“You can see it with everyone at the plate. Everyone is swinging at good pitches and taking the bad pitches,” Bell said. “We are focusing on the team as a whole and not just on ourselves.”
Emily Griggs earned her second multi-RBI game of the weekend, driving in two and scoring three times, with Sahvanna Jaquish driving in two with a hit and a sacrifice fly, while Constance Quinn belted her first home run of the season in the victory.
Sophomore Allie Walljasper (8-5) pitched her third shutout of the season on just 54 pitches, striking out two and allowing just two hits to South Carolina (32-15, 5-12) in five innings. Both of the Gamecock hits came in the third, both on infield hits, as the visitors did not have a runner reach past second base on the evening.
“It’s awesome. We’ve worked so hard to get back to this point and just regaining confidence in what we can do,” Walljasper said. “It’s just great to see it all come together.”
South Carolina’s Nickie Blue (15-11) suffered the loss, walking five with no strikeouts in four innings. Kenzie Maguire and Alexis Mack had each of South Carolina’s hits.
Sandra Simmons opened the first with a single, but was put out on the next play on a fielder’s choice. With Griggs now at first, she advanced to second on wild pitch, coming in to score as Bell singled through the right side to put the Tigers up 1-0.
A walk to Amber Serrett opened the LSU third, as a bunt single by Bailey Landry put two on. A passed ball advanced the two, leaving the open base for Simmons who was walked to load the bases for the Tigers.
Griggs earned an RBI by drawing a walk to make it 2-0 LSU, leaving the bases juiced for Bell who ripped a double down the line in left to double the lead at 4-0. With runners now at second and third, Jaquish hit a sacrifice fly to right to score another run to make it 5-0.
The Tigers got the fireworks in the fourth, as Quinn lifted one high to left center, having just enough to clear the fence for the home run to give LSU a 6-0 lead. A walk to Landry put one on, as she stole second and moved to third on an infield grounder for the second out. She came in on a Griggs infield single to make it a seven-run advantage, as LSU wasn’t done with a walk to Bell putting two on before Jaquish hit a single down the right field line to score Griggs to make it 8-0.
“The day was a win before we stepped on the field. And that is what I told them before game,” Torina said. “We are going to win this day no matter what the outcome is on the field. But having a win in the game is pretty awesome to cap off a perfect day.”
LSU goes for the series sweep on Sunday in the finale. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. at Tiger Park and will streamed live online on SEC Network+.
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