LSU softball drops pitcher's duel with #7 Arkansas 1-0
BATON ROUGE, La. – Pinch hitter Ryan Jackson floated the go-ahead base hit to left in the top of the seventh inning, and pitcher Mary Haff spun a complete game masterpiece as No. 7 Arkansas took game one of the series, 1-0, at LSU on Saturday night in Baton Rouge. With two games left this weekend, the Razorbacks (39-7, 18-4 SEC) are one win away from claiming at least a share of the program’s first SEC regular season title.
Arkansas’ defense made big plays behind Haff to keep the game scoreless, stranding five LSU (28-16, 10-9 SEC) baserunners. Second baseman Keely Huffine made a tremendous play ranging deep down the right field line, making a basket catch with her back facing home plate to end the first and leave a runner at third.
In the top of the fourth, the Razorbacks had a chance to score after infielder Hannah Gammill walked and infielder Danielle Gibson singled back to the pitcher. Both runners advanced a base after a wild pitch, but a flyout to left, which LSU turned into a double play, and a groundout ended the threat.
By keeping the game scoreless, Haff gave the bats a chance to take the lead in the top of the seventh. Catcher Kayla Green led off the inning with a walk and outfielder Aly Manzo popped up a ball that LSU’s catcher Morgan Cummins had to dive behind the dish to catch, allowing pinch runner Cally Kildow to take second base. Huffine followed by singling and putting runners on the corners with one out, setting up Jackson’s go-ahead knock.
Haff slammed the door on LSU’s offense in the bottom of the seventh, striking out the side to end the game.
Haff (21-4) was electric and allowed just one Tiger runner to reach third base. She surrendered only four singles and did not allow a free baserunner while striking out four. The redshirt junior tied the school’s career record with her 73rd victory. Shelbi Sunseri (7-6) went the distance for LSU, allowing one run on four hits and six walks with three strikeouts.
Huffine’s two hits led the way for the Razorbacks, and the team coaxed six walks to total ten baserunners. Both outfielder Hannah McEwen and Gammill recorded two walks each. Arkansas won in Baton Rouge for the first time since April 6, 2005.
The Razorbacks play game two of the series against LSU, tomorrow May 2 at 5 p.m. on SEC Network.