LSU softball dismisses Southeastern 11-0
BATON ROUGE - Nearly two days removed from a run-rule victory on the road, the No. 6 LSU softball team returned home to Baton Rouge on Wednesday and continued its torrid offensive pace as the Tigers netted 11 runs on 13 hits to defeat the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions 11-0 in five innings at Tiger Park.
After a scoreless first inning, LSU (43-8) a home run in the second set the tone for what the team would do for the rest of the contest as they put up five runs in each of the next two innings to race out to a large lead that Southeastern (20-26) would never be able to match as Tiger starting pitcher Allie Walljasper held the Lady Lions to just two hits over the course of the five-inning affair.
"Honestly I think the way they ended the game and ended the series with Missouri, with the game on Monday, they got a lot of confidence from that game and they even commented after it was over saying it felt different with that win," head coach Beth Torina said. "I think they doubted themselves a little bit, but I think they haven't faced a ton of adversity. I think it's nice to get them confident again and I think Monday night and tonight will help them going into this weekend and on high note, feeling a little bit more confident."
Of LSU's 13 hits on the night, six were of the extra-base variety to really bring home runs, as the entire offense got in on the act with every LSU batter earning a hit on the evening. Leading that charge was senior Kailey McCasland who went a season-high 2-for-3 with a double and game-leading three RBIs. In her seventh start of the season, McCasland, who will be honored this weekend along with the rest of her fellow seniors, earned her first multi-hit and multi-RBI game of the season Wednesday.
"Every game I'm always sitting next to Coach Dobson and I listen to what the plan is, and what the pitchers are doing. Things like that. So I'm prepared to go in any game," McCasland said. "It's just when I get my opportunity, it's what I do with it and I think I did well tonight. I'm proud because I've been working hard to get these opportunities."
Sandra Simmons continued to swing a hot bat as she went 2-for-3 with a double, triple, two RBIs and a run scored for LSU. Kellsi Kloss hit her 12th home run of the season, her sixth just this month alone, on a 2-for-3 afternoon with three runs scored. Bailey Landry rounded out the multi-hit days for LSU going 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Bianka Bell went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Walljasper (13-3) earned the win and pitched her fifth shutout of the season on Wednesday, striking out four and walking two on just 62 pitches for the Tigers, as only one SLU runner managed to get to second base on the evening. She even helped the defense in the end, getting the final batter of the game to ground out in a highlight 1-6-3 double play to close out the game and give the team its first contest without an error since April 4.
"I was trying to gain my confidence back from last weekend and come out here and throw quality pitches and hit my spots as best that I can and come out strong," Walljasper said. "I go pitch by pitch. I'm trying to throw each pitch with quality and just focus on where I'm pitching at and what needs to be done."
SLU's Taylor Bishop (13-7) suffered the loss as she gave up six runs on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 2.2 innings, giving way to Madison Vige' who allowed five runs, two earned after three Lady Lion Errors, on seven hits in 1.1 innings of work. Amanda Livaudais had both of Southeastern's two hits
After going down in order through the first four at-bats of the game, Kloss changed all that with one swing as she took a 2-1 count and launched one to the berm for the solo shot to give LSU a 1-0 lead. Simmons ripped a double to also reach, but would be left stranded at second.
"We were a little rushed because (Bishop) was quick on the mound, but I just told myself to slow down and get a pitch that I was ready to handle, and not to let her fool me," Kloss said. "The second time around we were so much better. Once things get rolling for us, then the hits and runs come in bunches."
Emily Griggs led off with a single to center to open the third, advancing to second after a wild pitch. A double by Landry to left center put two in scoring position for LSU following a lineout for the Tigers. Bell followed up with a double of her own off the wall in right to easily score both to give LSU a 3-0 lead.
After a fly out, Kloss drew a walk to put two back on for LSU, as the Tigers earned their third extra-base hit of the frame by way of a Simmons triple to clear the bags and put LSU up 5-0, ending Bishop's day in the circle. After the change, McCasland ripped a single up the middle on the first pitch she saw to score Simmons to make it 6-0.
The floodgates opened in the bottom of the very next inning in the fourth as Griggs opened the frame reaching on an error at second. After stealing second base on the next play, A.J. Andrews reached on a bunt single, with the first of the Lady Lions' three errors allowing her to move to second and Griggs to score to make it 7-0.
On an almost identical play, Landry reached on a bunt single as well and the resulting through was too low and allowed Andrews to score to give LSU an eight-run advantage. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Landry moved to third on an infield grounder to first by Bell for the first out of the inning. A ripped single down the left field line by Sahvanna Jaquish scored the sophomore to make it 9-0 LSU.
A single to third by Kloss put two back on for the Tigers, as a grounder back to first by Simmons advanced the two to second and third. After getting a hit in her last at-bat, McCasland came through in the clutch again with a double to right center scoring both, capping the night with two more RBIs giving LSU an 11-0 lead, which helped seal the victory as SLU went down in the very next inning in order.
"I think we will stay with our routine for the most part. Obviously we will start preparing for Auburn and see some of the things from film and really start preparing specifically for what they are going to throw at us and see what we can expect from them, Torina said. "We will do everything we can to be ready."
LSU closes out the 2015 regular season this weekend at home, hosting the No. 8 Auburn Tigers in a three-game SEC series beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. in Tiger Park.