BATON ROUGE - The No. 9 national seed LSU softball team was handed a 3-0 defeat by No. 21 Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday during the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional winner's bracket contest at Tiger Park.
LSU (41-15) will face either Northwestern State or Central Connecticut State in an elimination contest with a 6 p.m. first pitch, while the Cajuns (45-13) advance to Sunday's NCAA Baton Rouge Regional championship round.
Jordan Wallace fired a two-out shutout and racked up 10 strikeouts versus one walk to improve to 30-7 for the season for ULL. She retired the first nine batters she faced and limited LSU's offense to four baserunners.
Rachele Fico went the distance in the circle for the Tigers and dropped to 24-12 on the season. She allowed three runs on two hits and notched seven Ks against two walks.
Louisiana-Louisiana scored its three runs courtesy of a two-run Brianna Cherry home run in the first inning followed by a solo shot from Sara Corbello during the seventh inning.
LSU's best opportunity to score came during the fourth inning. A.J. Andrews ripped a leadoff double. Two batters later, Allison Falcon drew a walk. However, Wallace got Sandra Simmons to strike out to end the threat.
LSU vs. ULL- May 18,2013
LSU Post Game Quotes
COACH BETH TORINA
“Ultimately, Jordan Wallace threw a really good game against us. She was very difficult to make an adjustment with. She kept us off-balanced. I didn’t think we played very confidently. I thought we played not to lose instead to play to win. We haven’t played like that all year. Hopefully, we can go back to the plate and play more confident and play more like LSU softball.”
On LSU’s performance against ULL…
“I think the entire day, they tried too hard. I don’t think the three to nothing score had anything to do with it. We haven’t been phased at being behind anytime this year. I think they are pressing too hard. They know what is at stake. They want it so badly they are almost trying too hard. This team just needs to relax and play.”
On Rachele Fico’s pitching performance…
“She had a great performance I think. She missed two pitches. One my fault and one her fault. They might be both my fault. Ultimately, I thought she did a good job. It was a gutsy performance. I think it is unrealistic for us to think we can shut them out. We just have to make sure our offense can support her. She is a gutsy kid and the gutsiest kid we have. I know she is going to want to keep on playing ball. She is going to keep going out there and do her best.”
CF A.J. ANDREWS
On LSU’s performance against ULL…
“We didn’t play LSU softball. It was difficult because we didn’t play softball like we are capable of playing. We are a much better team than we performed today. I think to do better we need to perform better. We need to make some adjustments.”
On bouncing back and winning three more games…
“I think we are going to play big. We are going to play LSU softball. I feel like we are about to dominate. I think we are very good when we relax and play our game. It’s regionals. It’s very competitive. Everybody wants to win and make the World Series. I think sometimes we may press what we are trying to do. We need to calm down and play our game. Then, I think we will be a very tough team to beat.”
SS BIANKA BELL
On her offensive performance against ULL…
“I thought I was going to get a hit that last at-bat during the sixth inning. She (Jordan Wallace) did a good job of keeping me off balance. She threw that off-speed pitch and got me. Hats off to her.”
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Head Coach Michael Lotief
“When you get into this environment, the level of competition is that balanced. One pitch, one swing and one player can make the difference between victory and defeat. That was a great college softball game and a great environment. I’m so proud of my kids for fighting, believing in their dreams and believing in each other. We understand we cannot get into a high because there is a lot of softball to be played. We aren’t going to replay today and not get too far ahead of ourselves. We will continue our same routine and stay focused. These victories are hard to come by and are tough. We will enjoy the moment and each other. Then we will prepare for the next game alter on tonight.”
On Jordan Wallace pitch count…
“It’s something you think about. She is putting wear and tear on her body. People think windmill pitchers can go out there and throw unlimited pitches but that’s not true. She has trained year-round in the weight room.”
On the rivalry with LSU…
“I have so much respect for LSU, and what they have been able to do not only in softball but throughout collegiate athletics. You don’t get the opportunity to play on such a big stage day in and day out. When you have limited opportunities, you want to have a chance to showcase the fact that your student-athletes work their tails off and that they prepare tirelessly.
Pitcher Jordan Wallace
On getting the early lead…
“These games are all going to be close and getting ahead early is what we strive for. Getting ahead early gave us a boost of confidence. We knew from there we were going to come out successful.”
Centerfielder Brianna Cherry
On preparing for the game…
“We had our preparation before the game and had an understanding of what she was going to give us before the game. I wasn’t really looking for a certain pitch but making sure I was putting myself in the best possible situation to be successful.”
On her home run…
“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was out. With hits like, that it’s about our team and the work we put into it. That’s the reward we get for working so hard and being so close tight knit.”
CCSU vs. NSU
Baton Rouge Regional
May 18, 2013
Northwestern State University
Head Coach Donald Pickett
“We just give all of the credit to Central Connecticut. They came out ready to play, and they are a great team. We couldn’t make the plays that we needed to make, and they took full advantage of it. They are a great ball club and they made great plays on defense.”
On the journey of this season…
“Well, it was exciting to get here. These girls have been pretty consistent all year long. We came out and had some ups and downs but they never quit. They showed a lot of heart and fight this year. A lot of girls were banged up and gutted. It showed a lot of character of our girls to do whatever it takes.”
On coming back after the first inning…
“I didn’t think we would come out like that. We had three plays in the outfield that didn’t go our way, and the girls had a little panic attack. It was one of those things where we just didn’t play our best and we have to give the credit to Central Connecticut for putting us in those positions. Normally we would make those plays, but today it didn’t happen.
Pitcher Brook Boening
On their approach for the game…
“I don’t think our approach was any different. We came out excited, and this is a new position for all of us. None of us have ever been in a regional tournament before and I think we came excited and rolled with it. We’ve always been a team that lost and won together. We’ve done it in different ways and I think we came in with a mindset that we have to do what we’ve always done but it didn’t fall the way we wanted it to.”
Left Fielder Natalie Landry
On how this team will be remembered…
“I know since the first day we knew we weren’t going to have another season like last year. I think we will be most remembered by our fight will to win because we will not get beat at home twice.