Softball Drops Opener to Gamecocks, 5-4
COLUMBIA, S.C. – After taking a three-run lead, the No. 18 LSU softball team would watch that lead evaporate as the home standing South Carolina Gamecocks scored four unanswered runs over the course of two innings and withstood a late comeback attempt to defeat the Tigers 5-4 in the series opener Friday night in Columbia.
Held without a hit for all of the first three innings, South Carolina (31-21, 7-14 SEC) would produce all six of their hits and five runs over the course of the fourth and fifth to counter LSU's (37-16, 11-11) three-run fourth, as the Tigers would muster six hits of their own in the contest and strand nine runners on base.
The Tigers would put together a decent threat in the top of the seventh, getting a pair of runners on base after a pitching change and scoring to make it a one-run game, but would be unable to capture the comeback in the end.
Emily Griggs went 2-for-4 in the contest and brought in two of LSU's three runs on the night, while Amanda Doyle had a double among her two hits and scored once and Shemiah Sanchez driving in one on a hit. Sahvanna Jaquish would draw three walks in the game, breaking the school record for walks in a season as she now has 58.
Allie Walljasper (13-4) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on six hits with two strikeouts on 78 pitches thrown.
Tiara Duffy had two hits for South Carolina and was the only player to feature with multiple hits, while Victoria Williams drove in a pair of runs. Jessica Elliott (15-9) earned the win as she allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits with five walks and two strikeouts in six innings. Nickie Blue (4) earned the save as she came on in the seventh and allowed a run on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
The Game Turned When…
Down 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, South Carolina scored four runs on four hits to take the lead over LSU at 5-3. South Carolina would hold on to win the game 5-4.
Emily Griggs: 2-4, two RBIs
Amanda Doyle: 2-4, double, run scored
Shemiah Sanchez: 1-3, RBI, run scored
Bailey Landry: 1-4, run scored
Sahvanna Jaquish: 0-0, three walks, hit by pitch
Allie Walljasper: 6.0 IP, six hits, five runs, two strikeouts, 78 total pitches
Head coach Beth Torina on Friday's game…
“We did some of the things better that we've been trying to do, we swung the bats well but we couldn't make the routine plays today and do the things that we needed to do to win the ballgame. We'll just have to show better tomorrow.”
On taking the energy from the rally attempt into Saturday's game…
“The positive is we were able to see both of their pitchers. We were able to get a good look at both of them and I think our offense did some really good things, so hopefully we can roll that into tomorrow.”
LSU will look to even the series against South Carolina on Saturday in game two with first pitch set for 5 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on the SEC Network with Pam Ward and Cheri Kempf.
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