Softball Sweeps Saturday at Tiger Classic
BATON ROUGE, La. – Looking to bounce back after splitting the opening day of play in the Tiger Classic, the No. 4 LSU softball team was down by a run and struggling to get anything going offensively before a spark of life to tie the game late led to a walk-off single from Shemiah Sanchez in the seventh to defeat McNeese State and send the Tigers to a Saturday sweep of action.
LSU (2-1) opened the game by scoring a pair of runs on hits from the bats of freshmen Amanda Doyle and Sydney Springfield. However, the lead would be nullified in the third as the Cowgirls scored three runs on three hits, as the offensive struggles LSU had against Penn State the previous night began to surface.
However, the sixth breathed new life into the Tigers as another freshman, Aliyah Andrews, earned the team’s fourth hit of the contest on an infield single, moving to second after an error to get into scoring position. Coming on to pinch hit, Allie Walljasper roped a double down the left field line to score Andrews and knot the game at three.
At that point, LSU had the visitors on the ropes and a shaky seventh for the Cowgirls opened with a double for Sahvanna Jaquish and an intentional walk to put two on, with a sacrifice from Springfield moving the two over. Another intentional walk to Elyse Thornhill loaded the bases, setting the stage for Sanchez who singled to right center ending the contest.
Sydney Smith (1-0) earned the victory as she came on in relief of starter Carley Hoover in the sixth inning, as she pitched a flawless final two frames earning a strikeout, without allowing a hit or another run to cross the plate to keep the team in the hunt. Hoover went five innings and allowed all three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
The Game Turned When…
After watching a two-run lead turn into a single-run deficit after McNeese scored three runs in the third, the Tigers got a spark in the sixth when Aliyah Andrews reached on a single and advanced to second on an error. It set up Walljasper who came on to pinch hit and ripped a double down the left field line to tie the game at 3-3. From there, LSU regained the momentum and scored the winning run in the very next frame on a Sanchez single.
Head Coach Beth Torina on playing a tough squad like McNeese State…
“Their third baseman (Erika Piancastelli) and I actually talked about it during the middle of the game of why can’t this ever just be easy. They’re a great team, they’re a great program, and they’re an in-state rival so I think any time you have teams like that it’s always going to be tough. We respect them a lot and we were lucky to come away with a win against them today.”
Shemiah Sanchez on her thoughts on the final play of the game…
“I was like thank you Lord for putting me in this position to do it for my team. All credit to Him.”
Game Two: LSU 14, Penn State 1 (5 innings)
After suffering a defeat at the hands of the Nittany Lions the previous night, the LSU softball team left their offensive struggles behind and produced 14 runs on 14 hits to defeat Penn State 14-1 in five innings to close out play Saturday.
Eight different Tigers (3-1) earned base hits on the evening, with four earning multiple base knocks. Bailey Landry and Sydney Springfield had three hits each, while Emily Griggs and Sahvanna Jaquish had two hits each.
After scoring five runs in the very opening frame, the third would be the decider as 12 LSU batters went to the plate, producing eight runs on seven hits in the inning alone to extend its lead to 13. The Tigers were also the beneficiaries of four Penn State (1-3) errors in the game, three coming in the third, which helped extend LSU’s time at the plate.
Allie Walljasper (2-0) didn’t give up a hit until the third inning and finished the day allowing just three and one single run with five strikeouts and two walks in the complete-game victory.
The Game Turned When…
LSU scored five runs on four hits and a Penn State error to jump out to a 5-0 lead over the Nittany Lions. After struggling to score and string together hits on Friday, the team found every open space in the park on Saturday, leading to an eight run third and 14 total hits in the victory.
Bailey Landry: 3-4, RBI, two runs scored, triple
Sydney Springfield: 3-3, double, two RBIs, two runs scored
Emily Griggs: 2-3, two RBIs, two runs scored
Sahvanna Jaquish: 2-3, double, 2 RBIs, two runs scored
Shemiah Sanchez: 1-2, double, two RBIs
Amber Serrett: 1-3, HR, RBI
Allie Walljasper: 5.0 IP, three hits, one run, five strikeouts, two walks
Head Coach Beth Torina on Bailey Landry’s night against Penn State…
“She’s a special player. I think we’ve come to expect that from Bailey Landry. She just has so many weapons and tools. I just think she’s capable of doing anything. She did a great job tonight and we’ve all come to expect that from her.”
Bailey Landry on Coach Torina’s mindset for the team for Oklahoma State on Sunday…
“She applauded us for the win tonight. She said tomorrow Oklahoma State is going to feel the way we felt going into this game and we need to saddle up and make sure we are ready to play tomorrow.”
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.