LSU softball drops series to Kentucky falling 3-0 on Sunday
BATON ROUGE - Looking to respond after dropping a heartbreaker on Saturday, the No. 8 LSU softball team had chances to strike but would come up empty in the end as the Tigers fell to the No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats 3-0 Sunday at Tiger Park to drop the series.
LSU (29-11, 5-9 Southeastern) stranded eight runners on base over the course of the evening, outhitting the Wildcats until the very last frame when Kentucky (33-8, 10-4) got a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh on three hits.
"I think that we need to just compete better honestly,” head coach Beth Torina said. “We are so worried about not losing and trying to prove something that we are forgetting to play."
Emily Griggs led LSU at the plate, going 2-for-3, while Sandra Simmons and Kellsi Kloss each added hits. The hit for Simmons helped extend her career-long hitting streak to nine games.
“I think tomorrow we have to come out like we have something to prove," Griggs said. "We lost by one run yesterday and three runs tonight and we were definitely in reaching distance. Not being able to get those timely hits is usually something we pride ourselves in. I think that just wanting it a little bit more and going up to hit with the right attitude will help us out.”
Suffering the loss in the circle was Allie Walljasper (6-5) who allowed all three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and a walk. The sophomore held down the Wildcat offense for much of the night, while trying to help her cause at the plate by earning a hit in her sixth consecutive plate appearance on a 1-for-3 night.
Meagan Prince (15-2) earned the win for Kentucky, striking out five and walking three in seven innings, tossing 116 pitches. Maisie Steed drove in two in her only hit of the day, while Sylver Samuel went 2-for-3.
Two quick outs to open the top of the third inning made it seem as if the Tigers were going to be able to keep another clean inning, but a walk put one on with a wild pitch advancing the runner to second. That proved costly as a single to center brought in the run to put Kentucky up 1-0.
With an out in the bottom half of the inning, Simmons registered LSU's first hit of the game on an infield single to short. A grounder to third moved Simmons to second, but Bianka Bell was hit by pitch to put two on. However, a grounder to short forced out Simmons at third for the final out of the inning.
Griggs opened the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff infield single to put another LSU hit on the board. She moved to second after an infield grounder, but she would be left stranded there after a foul out and a grounder to end the frame.
After getting two outs in the top of the seventh, a looping single to left put one runner on, before a ripped single down the left field line put two in scoring position for the Wildcats. Another single to left brought in both to put Kentucky up 3-0.
Griggs would once again connect for a hit in the game in the bottom of the seventh, but with an out already on the board a grounder on a fielder's choice was the second, with a grounder to short ending the game.
"We need to refuse to lose is really what it comes down to," Kloss said. "Our problems are between the ears right now and I think going out and being aggressive tomorrow is what will get us the win.”
LSU closes the series with Kentucky at 6 p.m. Monday at Tiger Park. The game will be televised live on the SEC Network.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball and @BethTorina on Twitter and @lsusb on Instagram.