Offense drives Tigers in 5-2 victory over Rebels
BATON ROUGE, La. - Opening a two-day, three-game SEC series on Friday night in Baton Rouge, the No. 2 LSU softball team pounded out five runs on 12 hits and got a nearly flawless game in the circle from Baylee Corbello in a 5-2 win over the Ole Miss Rebels at Tiger Park.
After being shut out in the first inning in each of the last three games, the Tigers (34-3, 7-3 Southeastern) plated a run in each of the first three innings and again in the fifth and sixth to pull ahead of the visiting Rebels (22-14, 5-8) as five different LSU batters earned two hits on the night for the team. It proved big as Ole Miss didn't get its only two runs of the game until the top of the seventh with the game in hand with two outs already on the board.
"I wanted a little bit more out of them tonight. I think it was a good win, I am happy to have the win," head coach Beth Torina said. "I didn't like the way it ended with the homerun. I didn't think we saw a ton of pitches tonight. I think we could have done a little better at getting to the pitcher more, maybe seeing another arm. Overall I am happy with the win, I am happy with the bats overall."
LSU took advantage of the opportunities it had when it counted most, getting production from virtually every part of the lineup on Friday. Bianka Bell, Bailey Landry, Sandra Simmons, Alayna Falcon and Emily Griggs all had two hits, with A.J. Andrews and Sahvanna Jaquish having one each. Of the 12 hits, three were for extra bases as Bell and Falcon each roped doubles, with Griggs earning her second triple in her last three games.
"We did a really good job with our at-bats, had a lot of quality at-bats and putting the ball into play," Bell said. "We just kind of ran ourselves out of inning at times, and didn't do a really good job on the bases. We try to get around the board each inning and find success in that."
Save for one pitch to the potential final batter with two outs on the board, Corbello (9-0) controlled the Ole Miss order to earn her seventh complete-game win of the season by allowing two runs, scattering four hits with a season-high tying nine strikeouts. Corbelo had a perfect game through three innings before Ole Miss got a bunt single to break it up, as she tossed just 85 total pitches and did not walk a single batter.
"I was happy, I just think I didn't stay focused throughout the entire game," Corbello said. "We've been working a lot on getting an 0-2 count and finishing them, not letting up and letting them back in the count."
Madi Osias (6-8) suffered the loss for Ole Miss in the contest, throwing 129 pitches to the Tigers who had a field day in multiple ways at the plate. Allison Brown had two of the Rebels' four hits, including a two-run home run in the seventh to undo the shutout when she was down to her final strike. four bels wn alk a single batters for Ole Miss in the contest, throwing 129 pitches to the Tigers who had a field day in multip
Andrews led off the LSU first with a 2-2 count before connecting for a single thereafter to reach first. She promptly stole second to get into scoring position, as Landry drew a walk to put two on for the Tigers. Bell grounded into a fielder's choice, forcing out the run at second, but putting runners at the corners for Jaquish who ripped a single up the middle to score Andrews to make it 1-0 LSU.
In the first at-bat of the second for the Tigers, Falcon produced a quality sequence really making Osias work during the exchange, earning a positive result with a double to right center to get on base. After a fly out to foul territory in right for the first out, Griggs singled to dead center, pushing Falcon to third as she moved to second on the throw in to put two in scoring position. After a lineout to left, Landry came through with an infield single to short as Falcon scored to make it 2-0 LSU.
LSU started another inning successfully, as Bell dropped a single to right field to reach first. After a fly out to right, Kellsi Kloss drew a walk to put two on for LSU, but another fly out to right put two outs on the board. However, Falcon ripped her second hit of the day to drive in Bell to make it 3-0 Tigers after three.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Bell doubled to right center to get on base, as Jaquish drew a walk to put two on for LSU. A fielder's choice by Kloss forced out Jaquish at second to put runners at the corners for the second out of the frame, but the Tigers still came through as Simmons chopped a single through the right side to score Bell to make it 4-0 Tigers.
After a line out to center to open the LSU sixth, Griggs got a hold of one and sent it low to the gap in right center, motoring her way to third for the triple. Andrews drove her in with ease for the final LSU run of the game on a sacrifice fly to deep right field to make it 5-0 LSU.
Ole Miss produced two hits in the final frame, with Brown's home run to left field on an 0-2 count proving to be the only two runs for the visitors in the game, as a fly out to right ended the contest.
"Honestly I hope they play a similar game," Torina said. "I think tonight was more about setting us up for tomorrow. They had a ton of quality bats tonight, and I think a lot of people contributed. I was really happy with Alayna Falcon's performance tonight. I saw a lot of things I really liked, even though we didn't like the play at the end we still like the win. We're always trying to get better."
The two teams will close out the series on Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m. for a doubleheader at Tiger Park. Both games will be streamed live on SEC Network+.