BATON ROUGE – The No. 13 LSU softball team will step out of SEC play for a pair of mid-week matchups versus Southeastern Louisiana and South Alabama.
Tuesday’s first pitch versus the Lady Lions is slated for 6 p.m. at Tiger Park which will conclude LSU’s 10-game homestand, while Wednesday’s contest against the Jaguars will have a 7 p.m. first pitch from Mobile. Both games will have audio available for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live.
LSU (27-6) has picked up wins in nine of its last 10 outings since March 10. The Tigers also have posted a combined 22-1 all-time mark versus Southeastern Louisiana and South Alabama.
The Lady Lions (18-10) are coming off a 1-2 weekend at McNeese State. Katie Lacour has turned in a team-leading .383 batting average, while Amber Sather is hitting .338 with a team-best six home runs and 28 RBIs. In the circle, Rachael Hellyer has posted a 9-0 mark fueled by a 2.09 ERA and collected 41 strikeouts over 63.2 innings.
The Jaguars (27-5) secured a sweep of Florida International over the weekend and are being paced by Brittany Fowler’s .395 batting average, seven home runs and 25 RBIs. For South Alabama, seven players have registered multiple homers and double digit RBIs on the season.
Hannah Campbell and Farish Beard has been a strong pitching tandem for the Jaguars. Campbell has totaled a 13-5 record with a 0.87 ERA, while Beard has produced an 11-0 mark with a 1.79 ERA. The duo has combined for 188 strikeouts over their 190.2 frames of action.
“Southeastern has got a good record, and they’ve done some good things in their conference,” head coach Beth Torina said. “We know anytime we play an in-state opponent they’re going to bring their best effort. South Alabama has worked their way into the Top 25, and they’re a team that’s really does things the right way. They have a really solid pitching staff. We know we’ll have to bring our best to be successful this week.”
LSU’s offense continues to have six of its regular starters with over a .300 batting average. A.J. Andrews and Jacee Blades have tallied a team-leading 38 hits apiece along with 10 multi-hit performances from the top of the lineup.
Blades has boosted her average up to a team-high .373 clip and has hit safely in 10 of her last 12 outings, while Andrews has led the Tigers with 23 runs scored and is a perfect 10-for-10 in the stolen base department.
Bianka Bell and Tammy Wray share the team lead with six home runs and 20 RBIs apiece. Rikki Alcaraz has secured hits in 13 of her last 16 outings en route to a .435 batting average. All three players connected for multiple homers last week.
Sandra Simmons enters this week’s action on a career-long five game hitting streak. She has a .291 average, three home runs and 17 RBIs. Her batting average is at its highest point since the UNLV game back on Feb. 22.
“We’ve been doing some good things,” Torina said. “I like the fact that we’re capable of winning in a lot of different ways whether it’s with great pitching or defense, whether it is by hitting the long ball or maybe it’s with our slappers making things happen. I think we’ve shown that we can come back, and we can score early. We can do a lot of different things, and we have a lot of ways that we’re capable of performing. Our kids have been working hard so hopefully we can keep rolling.”
LSU’s pitching continue to show its depth and versatility as all three hurlers collected wins, and the staff posted a 0.85 ERA last week.
Rachele Fico notched a pair of wins to bring her season record to 16-4 with a 1.66 ERA. The senior right-hander brought her career win total to 70 and eclipsed Ashley Lewis (1999-2001) for fourth place on LSU’s all-time list.
Meghan Patterson secured her fourth win of the season with a complete game effort during game two of the Georgia Southern doubleheader on March 19. She is now up to a 4-2 mark flanked by a 1.70 ERA.
Ashley Czechner tossed her second one-hit shutout over her last three appearances to secure the series win over South Carolina. She has garnered a 7-0 record with a 1.97 ERA.
“I’ve been saying that every time Ashley pitches, I think it’s been her best outing,” Torina said. “She’s starting to come into her own. I really do think every time she takes the mound, she’s getting better.”
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.