LSU's Ashley Langoni
Photo by:Chris Parent, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
Big First Inning Powers Softball Past SLU
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Published: February 21, 2012, 08:47 PM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE - Allison Falcon, Ashley Langoni and Morgan Russell each collected a pair of RBIs as the LSU softball team used a five-run first inning and never looked back during a 7-0 victory over Southeastern Louisiana Tuesday at Tiger Park.

"The offense was great. I was proud of the way we came out and put five quick runs on the board," head coach Beth Torina said. "I thought we hit some balls really well and used all parts of the field. A lot of credit goes to the Southeastern pitcher [Kenna Terry] because she made an adjustment after the first inning, and it really kept us off balance for five innings."

LSU (5-4) won back-to-back games for the second time during the 2012 campaign and notched its fifth shutout on the young season. Russell along with Tammy Wray collected multi-hit performances to fuel a nine-hit attack for the Tigers.

LSU raced out of the gates with a five-run first inning. Ashley Applegate drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third base on an Allison Falcon sacrifice bunt aided by a throwing error by SLU first baseman Ariell Van Hook.

On a 3-2 offering, Langoni cleared the bases and belted a two-run double down the right field line for the game's first runs.  A Lady Lion fielding error on second baseman Megan McCollum allowed Langoni to cross the plate and push the Tiger advantage to 3-0.

With two outs and runners in scoring position, Russell ended a 1-for-15 stretch as she deposited a two-run single to right field to make it 5-0. 

That would be more than enough run support for Brittany Mack. She bounced back after allowing six runs during her last outing Sunday against No. 3 California and twirled a three-hit shutout. The senior right-hander notched six strikeouts against one walk and moved to 2-3 for the season.

Southeastern Louisiana's (1-8) Kenna Terry was tagged with the loss and has dropped all four of her decisions in 2012. She surrendered seven runs, four earned, on nine hits in 5.1 innings of work.

The Tigers added two more runs in the sixth inning for the final margin of 7-0. With two on and two out, Falcon smoked a single up-the-middle to extend her career-long hitting streak to six games.

"It is a process, and it is continuing to get better each day," Russell said. "Extra work, extra hitting and extra fielding; everything we do we need to keep doing. I think we are doing a good job right now, and I think that if we can just continue getting better each game and progress, there is no doubt that we will be in the College World Series come June."

LSU continues its five-game homestand Saturday and squares off with South Alabama at 12:30 p.m. followed by a 3 p.m. tilt with McNeese State to open the Tiger Invitational.

"It is definitely a big week for us," Torina said. "Put us on the positive because the following week [in Oklahoma] we have a really challenging schedule again. Not an easy weekend this weekend either. South Alabama and McNeese State are very quality opponents. They have played a good schedule, both have done some good things. It is a really big week for us so I feel like tonight was a big win to get us to the positive side."

Follow every pitch of the Tiger Invitational via live stats on www.LSUsports.net/livestats. Fans also can receive live in-game updates on LSU softball's social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball and @lsu_softball on Twitter.

LSU softball will be collecting new packs of pencils all weekend long at the fan zone on the concourse. The Tigers will donate the items gathered to USA Softball's Pencil Drive when the team travels to the Preview Tournament in early March.

The Tiger Park Ticket Booth will open 60 minutes prior to the first pitch of the first game each day. Fans can purchase tickets on-site starting at $5 for adult general admission and $3 for youth ages 3-12. Season tickets are on-sale for $75 and additional ticket information is available at www.LSUtix.net.

Season ticket holders will have their tickets scanned upon entrance to Tiger Park. The LSU Athletics Ticket Office urges season ticket holders to be cautious when separating their bar-coded tickets. The barcode must be attached to the ticket when arriving at the gate. If the barcode detaches, season ticket holders must stop by the LSU Athletics Ticket Office on the first floor of the Athletics/Administration Building for a reprint of their tickets.
 

Softball Postgame Quotes - February 21, 2012
LSU v. Southeastern Louisiana

HEAD COACH BETH TORINA

On the team's offensive play ...
"The offense was great. I was proud of the way we came out and put five quick runs on the board. I thought we hit some balls really well and used all parts of the field. A lot of credit goes to the Southeastern pitcher [Kenna Terry] because she made an adjustment after the first inning, and it really kept us off balance for five innings. She did a nice job making the change."

On Morgan Russell ...
"It was nice to see Morgan get going and do some things tonight. She's been working very hard and hit a couple of balls solidly in some key situations. To have two key hits is always a positive."

On keeping the team's momentum going ...
"It is definitely a big week for us. Put us on the positive because the following week [in Oklahoma] we have a really challenging schedule again. Not an easy weekend this weekend either. South Alabama and McNeese State are very quality opponents. They have played a good schedule, both have done some good things. It is a really big week for us so I feel like tonight was a big win to get us to the positive side."

CATCHER MORGAN RUSSELL

On the offense coming together ...
"It is different this year. Everyone is coming out, working hard and getting extra swings in. You can tell everyone wants to be better. We are putting in the time, and it is paying off. We are continuously getting better each and every game. That is what we are working for."

On being able to win back-to-back games ...
"It is always tough coming from a long weekend on the road to a mid-week game. I think our team pulled through together. We did well finishing on a good note in Las Vegas and came in and gave all of our effort this game. We did everything we could do and were asked for."

On Brittany Mack ...
"She came out knew she had to get another game in and do well in it. I think she just really came out with a positive attitude, wanting her team to win, and just giving everything she has got."

On the team's momentum ...
"It is a process, and it is continuing to get better each day. Extra work, extra hitting and extra fielding; everything we do we need to keep doing. I think we are doing a good job right now, and I think that if we can just continue getting better each game and progress, there is no doubt that we will be in the College World Series come June."

 

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