LSU Takes Regional Opener Against Louisville In Slugfest, 13-9
TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 23 LSU Tiger softball team ended the day scoring a program tournament record 13 runs on 13 hits to overpower and pull away from the Louisville Cardinals 13-9 Friday evening at Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Arizona.
With the win, LSU (36-21) now moves on to the winner's bracket game on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. against the winner of Boston University and Arizona. The winner of that game will advance to the regional championship game on Sunday afternoon.
After watching a six-run lead evaporate after scoring seven of the first eight runs of the game, the Tigers weathered the storm and scored six of the last eight to hold on for the win to move to 15-1 in regional openers.
"Give a lot of credit to our offense for staying hot throughout and never taking an at-bat off," head coach Beth Torina said. "This team has faced this kind of adversity all year, but we were able to get the timely hit when we needed it most."
The 13 runs the Tigers scored on Friday in Tucson are the most in the team's illustrious tournament history, overtaking the previous record of 12 scored against Southern on May 20, 1999 in Baton Rouge. The combined 22 runs by both teams is the two-team record in team history, falling three hits shy of tying the team record for most in a tournament game which is 16 set back in 2006. Of those double-digit hits for LSU in the game, eight were for extra bases as LSU pounded out five doubles and three home runs as a team on the day, with nine different Tigers lending a hand with at least one hit.
The team was paced by the senior leadership of Allison Falcon who went 4-for-4 with three doubles, two RBI and three runs scored, followed by fellow senor Tammy Wray who went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI. Falcon becomes just the third player in team history to earn four hits in a tournament game, the first since Leslie Klein in 2004, while being the first player since Tessa Lynam in 2003 against Jackson State to have three doubles. Wray is the first player since Sandra Simmons against Hofstra to hit two doubles in a single game this season.
"I just have to give a lot of credit to our coaching staff for having us really prepared for what we were able to do today," Falcon said. "We saw every pitcher they threw and the coaches told us this was something that could happen. They were the ones that helped us succeed out there."
While the seniors led the pack the stadium crowd witnessed the bright future of the team in the very first inning as the team hit all three of its home runs during that frame including freshman Sahvanna Jaquish who tied the single-season home run mark with her 14th of the season as she went 1-for-1 with an RBI and run scored and three walks. Bianka Bell hit her 12th of the season and continues her climb up the career charts with her 24th long ball at LSU in a 1-for-4 effort with an RBI and two runs scored, while A.J. Andrews hit her second of the year in hitting the tenth leadoff home run for the team this season in a 1-for-4 night with an RBI and two runs scored.
Kellsi Kloss went 1-for-3 with two runs scored, while Bailey Landry went 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored, with Alayna Falcon rounding out the hit parade earning an RBI single in her only at-bat of the game.
Baylee Corbello became the fifth freshman to earn a start in an NCAA Regional for LSU, earning the complete-game win to improve to 18-8 on the season after allowing nine runs, six earned, on 11 hits with four strikeouts to just two walks.