Softball Drops Opener to Tennessee, 6-3
BATON ROUGE, La. – In a see-saw battle to open the series, the No. 16 LSU softball team and the No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers traded blows early, but the visitors would strike last and hold on for a 6-3 win over the Tigers Friday night in Baton Rouge.
Taking the lead at two different points early up 2-1 and 3-2, the LSU (33-13, 8-8 SEC) offense would not be able to keep up with Tennessee’s (40-5, 12-3) over the course of the contest and allowed the Volunteers to get back into the game late as the visitors scored four unanswered runs with two in the fourth and two more for insurance in the seventh.
LSU was held to five hits in the contest, coming from Constance Quinn, Bailey Landry, Emily Griggs, Aliyah Andrews and Shemiah Sanchez. Quinn had a double and drove in a run, while Sanchez drove in a run on her only hit of the night.
Earning the loss in the circle was Carley Hoover (9-6) who allowed six runs, four earned, on eight hits with six strikeouts and six walks. Hoover lasted six innings, tossing 153 pitches with 88 for strikes, as Allie Walljasper would come on in relief and pitch the final inning striking out two and walking one.
Tennessee’s Matty Moss (21-1) earned the win as she scattered LSU’s five hits and gave up three runs with only two earned. Moss struck out eight and issued just three walks on 126 total pitches thrown, overcoming the Vols’ two errors in the game.
Meghan Gregg went 3-for-3 in the game for Tennessee and drove in one, while Scarlet McSwain had two hits and scored twice, while Megan Geer drove in two on her only hit of the contest.
The Game Turned When…
With LSU leading 3-2 going into the top of the fourth inning, consecutive singles by Tennessee put runners at the corners for the visitors. An error allowed a run to score to tie the game at 3-3. After a passed ball and a walk loaded the bases, LSU was able to get a force out at home plate, but another walk brought in a fourth run for the Volunteers to take the lead back a 4-3. Tennessee would lead the rest of the way from that point.
Constance Quinn: 1-3, double, RBI
Bailey Landry: 1-3, sac bunt, run scored
Shemiah Sanchez: 1-2, RBI
Emily Griggs: 1-4, run scored
Aliyah Andrews: 1-3
Head Coach Beth Torina on not being able to keep the early momentum…
“I thought we competed for three or four innings and then we just kind of got punched and didn’t have an answer for it. I think that when you’ve been in the spot we’ve been in we’re a little more fragile than you’d like them to be. They don’t take punches the way they had earlier in the season. Hopefully they can build on the first few innings tonight and come back and compete for seven full innings tomorrow.”
Carley Hoover on the team’s fight…
“Given the past two weekends, I am really proud of my team. We fought really hard and we had fun. All we can do is build off that.”
Constance Quinn on the team’s offense…
“We are starting to move in the right direction. We are starting to understand a little bit of the details. When we get into the game, we have to crush it. We have to go at it. We cannot be passive.”
Game two of the series is set for a 3 p.m. first pitch Saturday at Tiger Park.
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.