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LSU's Anissa Young (center)
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
Deja Vu: Young Hits Another HR to Beat No. 1 Bama
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Published: April 09, 2011, 09:22 PM (CT)
Updated: April 09, 2011, 11:15 PM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE - Anissa Young cranked a 2-1 offering over the right centerfield fence to lift the LSU softball team to a dramatic 3-1 walkoff victory in 10 innings over No. 1 Alabama Saturday as a program-record 2,563 fans poured into Tiger Park.

Young's extra inning long ball was her second in as many nights after she knocked a leadoff homer during the 14th inning on Friday. It also marked her 24th career dinger and vaulted her into sole possession of eighth place past former All-American Ashlee Ducote on LSU's all-time list.

With the victory, LSU (24-12, 7-6 SEC) extended its season-long winning streak to nine games. The Tigers also moved into sole possession of third place in the SEC Western Division race.

Ashley Langoni turned in a 2-for-5 effort at the plate which included a one-out single ahead of Young during the 10th inning. Cassie Trosclair also slapped a season-best three hits.

"It took every single Tiger for the win tonight," head coach Yvette Girouard said. "We fought hard and made great defensive plays. Once again Anissa Young blew us away. I knew this ball was out, unlike last night's. I felt we started to see the ball better tonight as well. We never lost our composure, and we were able to make the plays to win the game. "

"This is another game I will never forget," Young said. "It was another unbelievable feeling running around the bases. It was very emotional for me to meet all my teammates at home plate. I was thinking just to get on-base. We needed base runners and that was I trying to do. Luckily, I got all of that last pitch and took it out. "

Rachele Fico went the distance and limited the explosive Alabama (37-4, 12-3 SEC) offense to one run on four hits. She also picked up 11 strikeouts and claimed her second consecutive outing with double-digit Ks to improve to 9-8 on the season.

Kelsi Dunne was issued the loss and dropped to 18-2. She allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits in her 9 1/3 innings of work. She tallied seven strikeouts against one walk.

"The little things have really paid off this weekend," Fico said. "We have capitalized on all of our opportunities, and we're staying so mentally focused and locked in. To play two extra inning games, it takes so much mental focus for every pitch. We're all here to help each other out. Brittany Mack gave me some pointers from last night's game that helped me do well in tonight's game."

LSU grabbed a 1-0 edge during the second inning. The Tigers filled the bases as Young was hit-by-a-pitch followed a Trosclair infield single and an Alabama error. On a 2-2 pitch, Tiffany Shaw was plunked for the game's first run.

The Crimson Tide rallied for the equalizer in the seventh inning. Amanda Locke opened the frame with a walk and pinch runner Keima Davis advanced into scoring position two batters later after Kendall Dawson was hit-by-a-pitch.

Down 1-2 in the count, Kayla Braud slapped a RBI-single through the right side to even the tally at 1-1. Fico regrouped to get a ground ball to send the game into extra frames.

The previous LSU softball attendance record was 2,326 over a doubleheader against No. 1 Tennessee on April 28, 2007 at the old Tiger Park. 

"I'm very proud of our team and especially the fans," Girouard said. "They haven't given up on this program, and they really showed up tonight. They have become a factor in our games now. It's truly exciting to be out here. I'm very proud of our fan support throughout this whole weekend."

Sunday's series finale is slated for 1 p.m. with live audio and live stats available in the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net. The contest also will be carried live on ESPN 104.5 FM with Patrick Wright and Kent Lowe calling the action.

The annual "Gold Game" is televised by ESPNU to a national audience with Beth Mowins and Jessica Mendoza serving as the announcing team.

In-game updates are provided via the program's social media pages at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball and www.Twitter.com/LSU_Softball.  

The Tiger Park Ticket Booth opens 90 minutes prior to first pitch. Fans can purchase tickets on-site starting at $5 for adult general admission. Tickets also are available online at www.LSUtix.net.

Softball Postgame Quotes
LSU vs. No. 1 Alabama
April 9, 2011

Head Coach Yvette Girouard

On the win...
"It took every single Tiger for the win tonight. We fought hard and made great defensive plays. I felt we started to see the ball better tonight as well. We never lost our composure, and we were able to make the plays to win the game. "

On the team...
"We are starting to see the ball a whole lot better, and our pitching has obviously gotten a lot better since the beginning of the season."

On Anissa Young...
"Once again Anissa Young blew us away. I knew this ball was out, unlike last night's. And if it wasn't, I was sending Ashley Langoni home no matter what. "

On the crowd...
"I'm very proud of our team and especially the fans. They haven't given up on this program, and they really showed up tonight. They have become a factor in our games now. It's truly exciting to be out here. We played the team that leads the country in attendance and does a very good job of it. I'm very proud of our fan support throughout this whole weekend."

First Basemen Anissa Young

On tonight's win...
"This is another game I will never forget. It was another unbelievable feeling running around the bases. It was very emotional for me to meet all my teammates at home plate. I was thinking just to get on-base. We needed base runners and that was I trying to do.  Luckily, I got all of that last pitch and took it out. "

On the team...
"I'm very proud of my teammates and of my pitching staff. All the hitters came out today, worked hard and didn't give up at the plate. This was a game that we really wanted to come out and win. I'm glad we did it, and I couldn't have done it without my teammates. It was a great team effort."

On tomorrow's game...
"We're going to come out tomorrow with the same intensity and mentality we had throughout this whole weekend. Hopefully, we'll come out with another win."

Pitcher Rachele Fico

On the win tonight...
"The little things have really paid off this weekend. We have capitalized on all of our opportunities, and we're staying so mentally focused and locked in. To play two extra inning games, it takes so much mental focus for every pitch. It was a complete team effort. We're clicking on all cylinders right now."

On the pitching staff...
"Our team has a great pitching staff. We're all here to help each other out. Brittany Mack gave me some pointers from last night's game that helped me do well in tonight's game. The support from our pitching staff is incredible, and it's going to take all of us to win."

On playing in late extra innings...
"The mental focus that it takes is incredible. It's not something you experience until you play at the collegiate level. SEC play is unlike anything else. Last year, the doubleheaders helped improve my stamina. I'm able to throw harder and longer throughout late inning games."

On tomorrow's game...
"We have seen Kelsi Dunne twice now and we saw a little bit of the freshman pitcher [Jackie Traina] yesterday. We know what to expect, and we just need to come back here mentally focused. We know how to play, we are on fire right now and we just need to keep the momentum going for tomorrow's game."

 

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