LAS VEGAS, Nev. - After dropping a 3-1 decision to DePaul, the No. 25 LSU softball team responded in a big way to pick up an 11-0 five-inning rout of Cal State Northridge Saturday at Eller Media Stadium on the UNLV campus.
"I was a little disappointed in how we came out against DePaul," head coach Beth Torina said. "We had to have an answer, and it was nice to see our team bounce back against Cal State Northridge. I put some pressure on them to clean some things defensively, and we started to swing the bats a little better."
The 11 runs for LSU (3-3) were a season-high, while the eight hits equaled a season-best. The Tigers also racked up six stolen bases, turned two double plays and limited Cal State Northridge (0-8) to one hit.
Allison Falcon ripped off a 3-for-4 performance with a RBI and scored two runs making her debut in the No. 2 spot in the lineup. The three hits for Falcon matched a career-high.
"Allison is doing an excellent job and has earned her spot at the top of the lineup," Torina said. "I wish we had more players swinging the way that she's swinging right now. I like the way she's being aggressive and going after pitches."
LSU raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Falcon started her three-hit game with a single to centerfield followed by a Juliana Santos walk. After a double steal put the runners in scoring position, Langoni laced a two-run single through the right side.
The Tigers tacked on a quartet of runs during the third inning. Santos and Ashley Langoni set the table for Rikki Alcaraz, who ripped a RBI-single down the left field line. Three batters later, Alcaraz scored on a wild pitch. Lauren Houston and Simone Heyward added sacrifice flies to make it 6-0.
Brittany Mack tossed three innings of one-hit ball and recorded three strikeouts to improve to 1-2 on the season. Out of the bullpen, Meghan Patterson fanned three batters against one walk during her season debut.
LSU ripped off five more runs in the fifth inning for the final margin of 11-0. The frame was highlighted by a Tammy Vermeulen's two-run single with the bases loaded. Andrews, Falcon and Langoni also secured RBIs.
Game 1 - DePaul 3, No. 25 LSU 1
DePaul broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning as Kirsten Verdun advanced to third base on a one-out single after an Ashley Langoni fielding error in left field. The next batter, Megan Coronado, plated Verdun on a double that hit off the glove of a diving Allison Falcon.
The Tigers evened the tally at 1-1 with a two-out rally during the sixth inning. Juliana Santos smoked a double down the left field line. She came around to score on an error as DePaul first baseman Mary Connolly dropped a throw from third baseman Lynsey Ciezki, which would have been the third out of the inning.
The Blue Demons (5-3) used small ball to fire back with two runs aided by three infield singles in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded, Ciezki provided the go-ahead RBI-single to left field. The bases remained loaded and Samantha Dodd placed on a slow roller that hugged the first base chalk for an insurance run to put DePaul ahead 3-1.
LSU's Rachele Fico was tagged with the loss to drop to 2-1 on the season. She registered six strikeouts and was touched up for three runs, two earned, on eight hits.
Bree Brown went the distance for DePaul and finished with five Ks against one walk. She has won both of her decisions on the young season.
LSU wraps up the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic Sunday versus No. 3 California [1:15 p.m. CT] and Utah State [3:30 p.m. CT] at Stephanie Lynn Craig Park in Las Vegas.
"There isn't any pressure on us," Torina said. "It will be a nice opportunity for our players to relax, play big and be super aggressive. Cal is one the best teams in the country. Hopefully, we can show and play at the level that we're capable of."
Live stats for every LSU softball game this season will be available on www.LSUsports.net/livestats. Fans also can receive live in-game updates by following LSU softball on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball and @lsu_softball on Twitter.