THIBODAUX, La.-- Freshman Casey Faile earned her first complete-game shutout as the 12th-ranked LSU softball team defeated Nicholls State, 3-0, at the Colonel Softball Diamond on Wednesday evening.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 16-4 on the season and have now won three against the Lady Colonels this year. Nicholls State dropped to 7-14 and has lost three straight and seven of its last eight. The pair will meet for the final time this year on April 16 at Tiger Park.
Faile went the distance for the Tigers to improve to 2-0 on the season with her first career complete-game shutout. Despite allowing runners in every inning, the freshman got herself out of trouble when she needed to. Faile allowed four hits with five walks while striking out five. The Lady Colonels had their opportunities, stranding 11 base runners in the game, but Faile shut them down when she needed two.
“It was a great effort by Casey tonight in a packed field that was pro-Nicholls,” said LSU head coach Yvette Girouard. “She came up with huge pitches in crucial situations.”
Killian Roessner and Shannon Stein led LSU at the plate with identical 2-for-3 marks with a double each, while Stein posted one RBI and Roessner scored once. Rachel Mitchell hit her third home run of the season.
“We had enough offensive firepower to get it done and take the game,” said Girouard. “Now we can focus solely on Georgia for the next two days.”
In the top of the second, the Tigers got on the board for the first time. Killian Roessner led off with a double down the left field line. She moved to third on an illegal pitch and scored on a passed ball by Nicole Smith. With one out, Erika Sluss drew a walk. She moved to second on a ground out by Casey Faile. Sluss then came around to score on a single to right field by Shannon Stein.
LSU stretched its lead to 3-0 in the top of the third. With two outs, Rachel Mitchell hit her third home run of the season to straight away center field. Mitchell led the Tigers with 12 home runs last season and is now third on the team this season.
Nicholls State had its best chance in the bottom half of the third inning. Kat Harrell led off with a single up the middle. Kodi Butler then doubled to left center to send Harrell to third. With one out, LSU intentionally walked Amy Thibodeaux to load the bases. Faile then got Audrey Wood to foul out to Roessner behind the plate and Nicole Smith to pop out to Tayl'r Hollis at shortstop to end the inning.
Krystal Ensminger started and took the loss for the Lady Colonels to fall to 3-7 on the season. She allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts in two and two-thirds innings. Jessica Barksdale came on in the third and gave up two hits in the final four and a third.
This weekend, the Tigers will open defense of their 2007 Southeastern Conference Western Division title as LSU hosts nationally ranked Georgia in a three-game series at Tiger Park. The series begins on Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and concludes with a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. Fans wearing gold on Saturday will get in for FREE. Saturday’s first game will also be televised regionally on Cox Sports Television in Baton Rouge on cable channel 37.
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