No. 2 Tigers Take Two to Capture Sweep against Ole Miss
BATON ROUGE, La. - In front of the second-largest crowd ever to see a game at Tiger Park, the No. 2-ranked LSU softball team produced 13 hits and needed just three innings to produce eight runs in an 8-2 victory over the Ole Miss Rebels in game two of the day to earn their second sweep of a league foe this season Saturday in Baton Rouge.
After pulling out the first game in five innings, the Tigers (36-3, 9-3 Southeastern) spotted the visiting Rebels (22-16, 5-10) a single run in the very first inning, before going on to score eight-straight in the third, fifth and sixth innings to take a comfortable early lead and expound on it late to hold off Ole Miss in the end, extending the team's winning streak to five games.
"I think that is a huge key to this year. It's that our lineup is really deep," head coach Beth Torina said. "There's not a point in the lineup where we just have to give anything up, or where we just have to sacrifice people. I think we're strong one through nine. We can score with one, we can score with four, and we can score with eight and nine. I think we've shown that our year long and I think that's a big reason for our success, as well as the depth of this line-up. "
10 of LSU's 13 hits came from the same place in the order, coming from spots two through five, paced by a pair of three-hit outings from Bailey Landry and Sahvanna Jaquish. Jaquish went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Landry went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Staples Bianka Bell and Kellsi Kloss also came through with two hits and two RBIs each, with Bell roping two doubles among her two hits.
LSU earned another solid pitching performance in a week filled with them, as starter Allie Walljasper (10-1) earned the victory by holding Ole Miss to just two runs, one earned, on three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. The freshman had a no-hitter going until the fourth inning, retiring the side three times and tossing 97 pitches, with 73 being strikes.
"Coming together as a team was a huge accomplishment. We did everything we needed to do," Walljasper said. "We had a lot of quality at bats that got us through each game and we worked together. We worked our butts off this week to get us back to this position and overcome the adversity from last week."
Madi Osias (6-9) earned her second start of the weekend and nearly matched her first start, allowing four runs on nine hits with two walks and a strikeout. Lauren Lindsey, who pitched game one, came in and gave up two runs on two walks before being pulled for Layla Landwehrmier who pitched an inning and also gave up two runs on four hits with a walk.
After spotting the Rebels a run in the first after a hit batter came around after a walk and some sacrifice bunts, and coming up fruitless in the next two innings, LSU got going in the third in an atypical way, as with an out on the board and a 1-0 count, A.J. Andrews skied one high to right that kept sailing and found its way out of the park for the solo homer to knot the game at 1-1, her first of the season.
Landry followed up next with a high chopping single through the middle of the infield to take first. A double by Bell down the right field line scored the right fielder to make it 2-1 LSU. After moving to third on a passed ball, Bell came home on a Jaquish single up the middle to make it 3-1 Tigers.
Ole Miss threatened in the top of the fourth inning, breaking up the no-hit bid on a bunt single. A stolen base after a popup and a grounder to third put a runner feet from home plate, with a walk putting Ole Miss runners at the corners, but a highlight reel play by Jenna Kreamer at third ended the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Bell hit a double to the outfield fence in right center. Jaquish dropped a single down the left field line to put runners at the corners for LSU, as Kloss came through with a laser single to center scoring Bell to give LSU a 4-1 advantage.
An error at first base proved a bit costly for the Tigers in the sixth, as Ole Miss went on to extend an inning and eventually plate a run to cut LSU's lead now to 4-2, as Walljasper got out of the inning with a strikeout leaving two Rebel runners on base.
"It is amazing. We we're just having a conversation about the pitching staff in general; how strong we are because of the mix of the four of them," Torina said. "It really has made us so strong, just having the combination of four arms, and the fact that there are two sophomores and two freshmen, it's a nice thing to have as a coach."
LSU got that run back and more in the bottom half of the inning, as a walk to Constance Quinn put one on as she stole second. She left first open for Griggs who was walked as two LSU players were now on base. After the third pitching change for Ole Miss, Andrews was called out on batters interference for the first out, but an infield single by Landry loaded the bases.
Bell earned one of hear easiest RBI's on the week, drawing a walk to bring in one, with Jaquish connecting for a double to left center to score two making it 7-2. LSU wasn't done as Kloss singled to short, merely keeping the ball in the infield which allowed Bell to score for the final run of the game at 8-2.
Game One: LSU 8, Ole Miss 0 (5 innings)
In the opening game of a two-contest affair, the LSU softball team needed only two innings to take a commanding lead and got another dominant pitching performance in the circle to cruise to an 8-0 win over Ole Miss Saturday afternoon at Tiger Park.
The Tigers (35-3, 8-3 Southeastern) used scored all eight runs over the course of the third and fourth innings, using an efficient six hits to blow past the visiting Rebels (22-15, 5-9) and close the door in the very next frame to move on to game two and staying unblemished at home.
"We should've won up there at Kentucky, we should've been better and I think it was a nice wake-up for us. And it was a nice chance for us to see some things that we do need to improve, some more places where we need to be better," head coach Beth Torina said. "We should've won up there, we should've been better, and I think it was a nice wake-up for us. And it was a nice chance for us to see some things that we do need to improve, some more places where we need to be better.
Becoming the first pitcher this season to reach double-digit wins, starter Carley Hoover (10-2) pitched the shutout by scattering just three hits to go along with her seven strikeouts and no walks in the five frames, retiring the side in the first two innings and not allowing a runner past first base in the contest.
"The biggest thing we take away this weekend is a sweep against an SEC team," Hoover said. ". It is really hard to beat anyone three times so I think that says a lot about our team."
Constance Quinn produced one of her best days on the season as she went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and was the only player to earn multiple hits as one also included her second home run of the year. Kellsi Kloss got the scoring going as she hit a three-run home run to finish 1-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
"Constance and I had some plans going in there, we never try to do too much. I never try to go up and hit a home run, I try to make good contact and see a pitch I can handle," Kloss said. "I had a good plan today against what they were throwing against me and I did not want to get jammed so I put my barrel up."
Lauren Lindsey (5-5) suffered the loss after only pitching three innings of the game, allowing six runs, four earned, on four hits with six walks. Kayla Landwehrmier pitched the final inning for the Rebels, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks.
With only two hits combined for the two sides midway through three innings, LSU came up to bat in the inning and got a walk to Bianka Bell to lead off the frame. Sahvanna Jaquish took a 2-2 count and roped one deep to center, being misplayed only allowing Bell to move to second with Jaquish now at first.
That proved to be costly as Kloss took the second pitch of her at-bat to the berm to give LSU a 3-0 lead. After two easy outs, Quinn belted a shot of her own to the same area to trot around the bases to make it a 4-0 Tiger advantage.
Looking to capitalize on its offensive output from the previous inning, Bailey Landry nearly got on with a bunt single, instead getting a smoked single through the middle of the infield to reach first. Bell drew a walk to put two on for LSU, to prompt a pitching change for the visitors.
After the change, Jaquish flew out to deep right, allowing Landry to tag up to put runners at the corners after the first out of the frame. Kloss earned a walk and loaded the bases for LSU, as a fielder's choice forced out Landry at home for the second out. Down to the final out, Dylan Supak dropped a single down the left field line to drive in two, advancing to second on the throw. Quinn stepped up next and helped the cause further with a single to center to drive in two more to make it 8-0 LSU.
LSU hits the road for the next week, beginning with a non-conference midweek game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Wednesday in Starkville.