No. 13 Softball Squares Off with South Carolina
BATON ROUGE – The No. 13 LSU softball team will look to continue its winning ways and welcomes South Carolina for a three-game weekend series at Tiger Park. Games times are on-tap for Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.
All three games of the series will be broadcasted by the LSU Sports Radio Network on Country Legends 104.9 FM in Baton Rouge and can be accessed by Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live
Saturday's game will be carried live by Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports Southeast with Lyn Rollins and retired LSU softball coach Yvette Girouard set to call the action. Friday’s game will have live video available inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.
Promotions for the South Carolina series include “Teacher Appreciation Night” for Friday’s series opener where the Tigers will give a special recognition to all LSU Facility and Staff. The first 500 fans also will receive a LSU softball pennant.
Saturday’s middle game will be the team’s “Dads and Daughters” event. For more information on how to sign up, visit www.LSUsports.net/dadsanddaughters. The first 500 fans will be able to add a LSU softball bat pen to their collection.
LSU (25-5, 5-1 SEC) has collected their best 30-game start in program history since the 2010 squad posted a 26-4 mark. The Tigers have won seven straight games and 11 of their last 13 outings dating back to March 1.
South Carolina (17-9, 0-3 SEC) was swept by No. 4 Alabama as the Gamecocks opened their renovated ballpark. All three games versus the Crimson Tide were decided by two runs or less.
The Gamecocks have tallied a .348 team batting average, second-highest in the SEC. Sami Garcia has racked up a team-leading 42 hits en route to a .467 hitting clip, while Chelsea Hawkins has connected for a team-high six home runs.
In the circle, Audrey Broyles and Katie Marks have combined for 11 of South Carolina’s 17 victories. The duo has combined for 74 strikeouts and has tossed two of the three shutouts for the Gamecocks.
“South Carolina has been playing really well,” head coach Beth Torina said. ““They are swinging the bats and have some of the best offensive numbers in the conference so we know we have our work cut out for us. Anytime we play in the SEC, we are going to show up with our best effort.”
The Tigers are coming off a doubleheader sweep of Georgia Southern where Bianka Bell belted a pair of home runs during game one followed by the game-winning RBI double in the second game. For the season, Bell has upped her marks to a .325 batting average, a team-leading five homers and 18 RBIs.
Bell is joined Rikki Alcaraz, Allison Falcon, Kellsi Kloss, Sandra Simmons and Tammy Wray as LSU players with multiple longballs for the season. Each player has registered double digit RBIs, and the six players have accounted for 69 percent of the team’s RBI output.
Alcaraz has emerged as the primary option at DP and amassed all 19 of her hits during LSU’s last 14 games. She has turned in an impressive .500 batting average and equaled a career-best with three hits during game one of the Georgia Southern doubleheader.
Seven of Kloss’ 11 hits have been run producing hits for the Tigers, while Simmons has hit safely in seven of her last nine outings fueled by a trio of multi-RBI performances.
Andrews, the reigning LSWA Hitter of the Week, has compiled a nine-game hitting streak which has tied a career-long and has notched hits in 18 of her last 19 outings. Nine of her 17 RBIs have coming during her nine-game hitting streak. She also has crossed the plate a team-leading 23 times, and LSU is 15-0 on the season when Andrews scores a run.
Blades recently had a career-best eight-game hitting run come to close in game two of the Georgia Southern doubleheader. She has compiled eight multi-hit efforts, tied for second on the squad only behind Andrews’ 10 multi-hit performances.
Fico has pieced together five consecutive wins which includes all four of her SEC outings. Her 146 strikeouts are ranked second on the SEC leaderboard. The senior right-hander recently came away with her 15th win and eighth shutout of the season with a two-hit blanking of Georgia Southern. In the process, Fico garnered her 69th career win which allowed her to surpass Ashley Lewis (1999-2001) for fourth place on LSU’s all-time list.
Patterson has added a 4-2 record with a 1.70 ERA most recently a complete game victory to conclude the Georgia Southern doubleheader. She didn’t allow an earned run. In her first two SEC outings, Patterson was a tough-luck loser in a 2-1 decision over Mississippi State and was handed a no-decision versus Kentucky.
Czechner has emerged with a 6-0 mark and is coming off her best week of the season where she limited the opposition to a .081 batting average. She tossed her first career shutout, a one-hitter versus Nicholls State on March 13.
Every game of LSU softball this season will have live stats available at LSUsports.net/livestats. Fans can also follow every pitch via live in-game updates at the program's social media outlets @lsusoftball on Twitter and www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball.
The Tiger Park Ticket Office will open 90 prior to the first pitch. Fans can purchase tickets on-site starting at $5 for adult general admission and $3 for youth ages 3-12.