BATON ROUGE, La. – After spending the last two-plus weeks on the road, the LSU softball team will play the final contest of a season-long seven-game road trip on Tuesday evening, taking on the ULM Warhawks at the ULM Softball Complex at 6 p.m. in Monroe.
Tuesday’s game was originally scheduled for March 3 in Monroe as the first of a two-day jaunt through north and central Louisiana, but due to icy conditions the matchup was postponed and moved to this week, adding one more non-conference opponent to the trip.
“ULM is a very well coached program,” head coach Beth Torina said. “They are a very fast team, have a lot of stolen bases on the season and are not afraid to run. They do a lot of things well, and will definitely give us a tough game. We are going to do our best to be prepared for that and move on to another tough SEC weekend.”
After Tuesday, the Tigers will host seven-straight in the friendly confines of Tiger Park, as the team continues SEC play hosting Tennessee and Georgia with McNeese State in between the two conference weekends.
LSU goes into the tilt against the Warhawks looking to put an end to the five-game losing skid the team is currently on, which is the longest for the group this season after dropping three to the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa over the weekend.
At 19-15 overall on the year and 2-7 in the Southeastern Conference, LSU has played 11-of-12 games since the beginning of March against teams ranked in the top 25, with three of the last four weekends against teams in the in the top 20. The squad finished the month with a 6-9 record and is 2-8 in the last 10, with the last win coming against Nicholls on March 19.
The Tigers were held to just one run in each of the three games against Alabama, as LSU has been held to a single score in four of the last five and two runs or less in seven of the last 10 games overall. Although the Tigers scored one run in game two of the series, the team had the lead going into the bottom of the seventh after tying the team high for hits in a conference game before two unanswered runs crossed the plate in the second walk-off win against the Tigers in a week’s time.
Sophomore catcher Kellsi Kloss had the top overall weekend at the plate, hitting .444 with an identical on-base percentage and .778 slugging mark against Alabama, as she hit her seventh home run of the season to give the Tigers the lead in the opening game, while earning her eighth multiple hit game of the season with two hits on Saturday.
Earning her seventh and eighth multi-hit games of the season on Saturday and Sunday was first baseman Sandra Simmons, who hit .400. Simmons accounted for two of LSU’s four hits on Sunday, giving her 18 for her career.
The only other two players to drive in runs on the weekend were Sahvanna Jaquish and Bianka Bell, as Jaquish drove in her 29th of the season, while Bell hit her team leading eighth double of the season after her eight-game hitting streak was snapped on Friday, coming back in the finale to drive in the team’s only run in the top of the seventh inning.
A.J. Andrews extended her hitting streak to 15 games after earning hits in the first two days of action, but that’s as far as it would go as she was held without one for the first time since Feb. 28. Still, the junior had her ninth two-hit game of the season on Saturday, with an RBI and two stolen bases to give her 24 on the year.
LSU’s pitching staff saw one of the most complete hitting teams in league in the Crimson Tide, as Alabama earned 28 hits for a .364 team batting average with two doubles and three home runs. Baylee Corbello and Ashley Czechner handled the bulk of the duties over the weekend, with Corbello topping the 100-strikeout mark as she now has 107 for the year, while Czechner only walked two batters in 8.2 innings of work.
ULM is 15-13 on the season after dropping three to the South Alabama Jaguars over the weekend, a team the Tigers will face later in April for the second time in Baton Rouge. The Warhawks are 10-3 in Monroe this year, led the .388 hitting percentage of Faith Bohack and pitching of Samantha Hamby who threw a no-hitter in a 2-0 loss over the weekend.
The two sides are facing off for the first time since the 2010 season, as LSU has won all seven previous meetings in the series history. It’s the second game in Monroe since 1998, as the Tigers have only surrendered four runs total all-time, with three games lasting only five innings.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball and @BethTorina on Twitter and @lsusb on Instagram.