BATON ROUGE, La. – An RBI single in the top of the seventh inning with the game tied at 1-1 sent the LSU softball team to a tough 2-1 defeat at the hands of the McNeese State Cowgirls Wednesday night at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge.
The loss was the first to the Cowgirls (28-10) in the last seven contests, as the Tigers (22-17) were held to just five hits and left seven runners on base over the course of the contest. In the second and third innings of the night, LSU had a bases loaded opportunity and managed just one run.
“I think it is the same M.O. we’ve had all year long. We have trouble getting the timely hit,” head coach Beth Torina said. “We can get runners on base, but we don’t have a lot luck getting the timely hit. That is why the win against Tennessee when we actually came through and got the hit was such a big deal. That is the same thing we have seen all year long unfortunately. We would like to see some different things from them, but we aren’t making a lot of adjustments.”
Jacee Blades led the Tigers at the plate going 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Sandra Simmons had the only RBI of the night. Kellsi Kloss had her sixth double of the season in her only hit of the night, as Sahvanna Jaquish and Tammy Wray had the other two.
Baylee Corbello fell to 11-6 on the season after allowing two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in the complete-game effort, as one of the two walks allowed the first McNeese run to score in the fifth, with the Cowgirls’ fifth and final hit in the seventh bringing in the winning run.
“I need to attack harder and bring the bullpen out to the field,” Corbello said.
Jamie Allred earned her 17th win of the season on Tuesday, as she allowed one unearned run on three walks with two strikeouts, retiring the last seven Tiger batters in order beginning in the fifth inning. McNeese’s Marisa Taunton went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Lauren Langner went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
LSU had a chance to strike a big blow in the second inning, as Kloss earned LSU’s first hit of the game with a double to right center. After a pair of outs, Wray nearly poked one through the left side as she earned the infield single to put runners at the corners. A walk to Simone Heyward loaded the bases for the Tigers, but a swinging strikeout ended the inning.
The Tigers came out again firing in the bottom of the third, as Blades earned an infield single on a high chopper to third to reach first. Jaquish followed with a single that just missed clearing the fence in left center, moving Blades to third with the LSU shortstop advancing to second on the throw to put two back in scoring position.
A walk to Bell loaded the bases for the second consecutive inning for LSU, but a shallow pop fly gave LSU its first out. A catcher’s interference call with Simmons at the plate gave LSU a 1-0 lead, but that would be the only run as a fly to right resulted in a double play to end the inning.
With a single run separating the two, McNeese State put some pressure on the Tigers in the top of fifth inning, as Corbello hit the first batter to put one on for the Cowgirls. A sacrifice bunt back to the circle advanced the runner to second, giving McNeese its first out. A grounder to Wray at third kept the runner at bay for the second out, but an infield single and another hit batter loaded the bases. Another walk tied the game at 1-1, but a swinging strikeout ended the inning.
In the top of the seventh inning, McNeese State led off with a slow single to second to put one on. A sacrifice bunt advanced the runner to second, as a single through the left side by Taunton plated the run to put the Cowgirls up 2-1 for their first lead of the game.
“We have tried a lot of different things,” Torina said. “We are continuing to work on things in practice that I feel are important and will prepare us for the weekend and each game. I think at this point we have to stay the course and keep trying to find different things to prepare.”
LSU returns to action on Friday, opening a three-game SEC series against the Georgia Bulldogs at Tiger Park.
LSU HEAD COACH BETH TORINA
On LSU’s trouble with timely hitting…
“I think it is the same M.O. we’ve had all year long. We have trouble getting the timely hit. We can get runners on base, but we don’t have a lot luck getting the timely hit. That is why the win against Tennessee when we actually came through and got the hit was such a big deal. That is the same thing we have seen all year long unfortunately. We would like to see some different things from them, but we aren’t making a lot of adjustments.”
On making an adjustment for the future…
“We have tried a lot of different things. We are continuing to work on things in practice that I feel are important and will prepare us for the weekend and each game. I think at this point we have to stay the course and keep trying to find different things to prepare.”
On tonight’s loss to McNeese…
“I think we made a lot of stupid mistakes tonight. Give them credit. They are a quality program. We didn’t help ourselves tonight. I thought we made a lot of mistake that were very costly.”
P BAYLEE CORBELLO
On her last three innings against McNeese…
“I think it is more fundamental issue. It’s stuff we work on during practice like spinning my hips to early or my arms got caught behind my hip.”
On making an adjustment for the future…
“I need to attack harder and bring the bullpen out to the field. I can’t try to fix things.”
On tonight’s hitting performance against McNeese…
“I think we were trying to kill the ball. After playing Tennessee, we hit Ellen hard. I feel like we came in here and expected to hit her hard. We weren’t smart about it.”