BATON ROUGE - The LSU softball team racked up 35 runs en route to a quartet of victories to open the fall season over the weekend at Tiger Park. The Tigers defeated Lamar (13-0) and Belhaven (6-1) on Saturday followed by Sunday wins over Northwestern State (11-3) and LSU-Eunice (5-2).
"I was really happy with our first fall weekend," head coach Beth Torina said. "We learned a lot about ourselves this weekend. We saw a lot of positives, especially with our newcomers. We also saw exactly which areas we need to spend the most time working to improve."
Eight different players secured RBIs during LSU's 13-0 opening win over Lamar. Rachele Fico was sharp in the circle and was touched up for only two hits along with a walk over her five innings of work. She recorded five strikeouts and tossed 14-of-19 first-pitch strikes.
The Tigers opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning provided by a pair of freshmen. Kailey McCasland knocked a single and came around to score on Hailey Smith's triple into the right centerfield gap. Kellsi Kloss lined a first-pitch single to right field to plate Smith.
McCasland pushed across two more runs during the third inning with a two-run triple, while Allison Falcon laced a RBI-single up-the-middle to extend the LSU lead to 5-0.
The Tigers struck for three more runs in the fifth inning. McCasland coaxed a walk and Allison Falcon added a single to set the table. Alayna Falcon smacked a RBI-single through the middle to plate McCasland. With runners on first and second base, Alex Boulet ripped LSU's third triple of the game to make it 8-0.
LSU pieced together five more runs during the sixth inning for the final margin of 13-0. Allison Falcon and Kloss cranked a RBI double and RBI single, respectively. Sandra Simmons and Simone Heyward notched RBIs off of bases loaded walks, while Bianka Bell added a RBI off a Lamar error.
Ashley Czechner preserved the shutout with two scoreless frames. She notched back-to-back strikeouts with the bases loaded to end the contest.
LSU used a Tammy Wray RBI-single to go ahead 2-0 in the third inning. The Tigers exploded for a trio of runs during the fourth inning. Andrews and Bell added RBI hits and LSU pushed its lead to 5-0 on a Belhaven passed ball.
After a Belhaven run to start the fifth inning, the Tigers responded right away during the home half of the frame. Andrews capped a three-hit game with a RBI single to plate Dylan Supak for the final margin of 6-1.
LSU started Sunday's action with a two-run first inning versus Northwestern State. Andrews knocked a leadoff single and scored on Bell's triple to right field. Bell would score on McCasland's sacrifice fly.
Northwestern State charged back with three runs during the second inning to grab a 3-2 advantage. The lead would be short-lived as LSU drew even during the home half on a Heyward RBI squeeze bunt.
The Tigers surged ahead 6-3 in the third inning on McCasland's three-run home run. During the fourth inning, Blades connected for a RBI single and McCasland added a two-run dinger to make it 9-3. McCasland provided her third roundtripper of the game, a two-run shot to dead center, in the sixth inning to put the finishing touches on an 11-3 win.
Tied at 2-2 with LSU-Eunice, Rikki Alcaraz provided the heroics in the fifth inning. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Alcaraz belted a three-run homer down the right field line to vault LSU to a 5-2 lead. Fico secured the win for Meghan Patterson and retired all six batters she faced, fueled by three strikeouts over the final two frames.
"Our offensive output was very exciting to see," Torina said. "It was great to see a few returners like Kailey McCasland, Rikki Alcaraz, Tammy Wray and several others swinging with such confidence. We will work to carry this mentality into the spring season."
LSU continues its fall slate with a Tuesday twin bill versus McNeese State. First pitch is on-tap for 4 p.m. and admission is free to all fall contests at Tiger Park.