Softball Falls to Tennessee, 6-4
BATON ROUGE, La. – In a wild first inning that saw a combined six runs scored, the No. 16 LSU softball team once again had the lead over No. 11 Tennessee, but the Volunteer offense would not quit and turned a two-run deficit into a two-run lead by scoring four unanswered runs in an eventual 6-4 win over the Tigers to claim the series.
After spotting Tennessee (41-5, 13-3 SEC) two runs in the top of the first, the Tigers (33-14, 8-9) came back to score four runs on four hits to go up by two in the bottom half of the same frame, as the game had the makings of a slugfest early. Unfortunately for LSU, the Vols would go on to score two runs in the third and a single run in the fifth and sixth to retake the lead late and hold on for the win.
That first inning offense for LSU would be the most it would muster for a bit, sitting on just four hits until later in the contest, scattered throughout the lineup with Emily Griggs being the only player with multiple hits and Sahvanna Jaquish, Amanda Doyle and Nicky Dawson each driving in runs.
Sydney Smith (10-4) earned the loss allowing six runs on eight hits, walking four and striking out one. Carley Hoover came on in relief and pitched the final 1.1 innings and allowed two hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
Tennessee finished with 10 hits in the contest, with Aubrey Leach and Megan Geer having two hits each. Meghan Gregg drove in three and had one hit.
Starting pitcher Caylan Arnold (18-4) earned the win weathering that opening and pitching five innings allowing four runs, three earned, on those four hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Game one starter Matty Moss (1) earned the save as she came on and pitched the final two innings giving up a hit with two strikeouts.
The Game Turned When…
After Tennessee got a two-run home run in the top of the third to tie the game, the Vols would take the lead in the top of the fifth as an errant throw on a steal attempt would allow a Tennessee runner to score from third to make it 5-4 in favor of the visitors. Tennessee would get another in the sixth on a two-out RBI single to make it 6-4 Tennessee.
Emily Griggs: 2-4, run scored
Sahvanna Jaquish: 1-1, RBI, run scored, two walks
Bailey Landry: 1-4, run scored
Nicky Dawson: 1-3, RBI, walk, stolen base
Amber Serrett: 1-3
Head Coach Beth Torina her takeaways from the game…
“I think that we are capable of being better. We still have to continue to play better defense behind our pitchers. There are things on the scoreboard that are going as hits that we are capable of making plays on. We have to play clean defense. It has not been an issue for us all year, but when people are putting a lot of balls into play and hitting them hard it becomes more difficult to get that done. We still need to get that done. And we still need to make better pitches throughout.”
Sydney Smith on Saturday’s game…
“The SEC is tough. You have to score more than one inning. They are a good team. Their offense is, one through nine, good. I think that we just need to do a little better job of staying throughout seven innings and giving them more than just one inning of a tough game. We are slowly working our way out of this. This is going to help us in the long run. At the end of the day when June comes, this is going to benefit us because we have learned how to be punched in the mouth a few times.”
Sahvanna Jaquish on the team’s approach Saturday…
“Our approach was great. Of course, the first inning was adrenaline and emotion. Then we settled in, but I would not say that we got on our heels. I would say that we had a couple of balls hit hard and did not catch some breaks. But that is the way the game is.”
LSU closes out the series against Tennessee with a 1 p.m. first pitch set for Sunday. The game will be televised on the SEC Network with Courtney Lyle and Leigh Ross Dakich.
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.