LSU's senior class
Photo by:Steve Franz, LSU Athletics Staff Photographer
No. 23 Softball Topples No. 12 Georgia on Senior Day
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Published: April 29, 2012, 08:12 PM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE - Brittany Mack provided the Senior Day heroics, but not in the way that the decorated All-American has been accustomed to during her LSU career - she ripped a two-out, RBI double for her first career hit and first career RBI as the No. 23 LSU softball team claimed a 1-0 victory over No. 12 Georgia during Sunday's regular season home finale at Tiger Park.

Prior to the game, Mack gave the ball on Senior Day to her cohort Rachele Fico. The junior right-hander tossed a four-hit shutout and fanned six batters versus two walks to improve to 16-9 on the season. She pounded the strike zone early and often with 17-of-27 first-pitch strikes. 

The Tigers (34-18, 15-10 SEC) snapped a seven-game losing streak to Georgia (38-13, 15-10 SEC) and moved back into a fourth-place tie with the Bulldogs in the overall SEC standings.

Seven of the eight members of the senior class started in the game. Katie Guillory has missed the season due to injury will return to the Tigers for the 2013 season. The octet threw out the ceremonial first pitches leading into the game and were honored in a special postgame tribute afterwards. 

"I don't think you could have scripted a much better day for Senior Day at Tiger Park," head coach Beth Torina said. "All the seniors contributed. They've had such great careers, and they deserve this day. I really don't know if it gets a lot better than this."

Tammy Wray knocked a leadoff single to open the fifth inning. Pinch runner Alex Boulet advanced to second base on Ashley Applegate's sacrifice bunt and scooted over to third base on Morgan Russell's ground out.

On the first pitch of the at-bat, Mack crushed the offering towards right centerfield where the ball landed in-front UGA centerfielder Brittany Hubbard's diving attempt. Boulet crossed the plate for the game's only run.

"All I could think was 'Are you kidding me?' It was unbelievable for her to get her first career hit and her first career RBI in that moment," Torina said. "I know Brittney's a good hitter, and I have all the confidence in her abilities. The fact that she's the one that scored that run today - she's the one that was selfless, and she gave up the ball before the game to allow to Rachele Fico to pitch. You really just couldn't have scripted a better ending to their Senior Day."

"It was a solid hit," Mack said. "I thought that with my luck, the centerfielder was going to make a miraculous dive and catch it. I looked up and saw that it kept going, so I had to fist pump. I kept going to second. It was just unbelievable not only to get the hit but also to score Alex Boulet. I told her when she was going out to pinch run, I told her, 'You're scoring this time.'"

"Brittany Mack is awesome," Fico said. "I'm so glad that she's my teammate, and she's one of my best friends - on and off the field. She works so hard and sets such a good example for everyone else. I'm just so happy that she's my teammate. I couldn't be prouder of her today coming up to bat and getting the job done."

Georgia placed the tying run on second base during the seventh inning. Fico closed out the game in-style and mowed down Gracie Goulder to secure the 1-0 win.

"This win was huge today for us," Fico said. "We got swept against Tennessee earlier in the year, and we vowed that we wouldn't let it happen again. We knew that we really had to come out fighting today and do whatever it took to win. We really got it done. We've got to keep playing this way - practicing hard and executing in games."

LSU wraps up the regular season and heads to Kentucky for a SEC weekend series. Games times are slated for 5 p.m. CDT [Friday], 12 p.m. CDT [Saturday and Sunday].

All three games of the series will have live audio and live stats inside the Geaux Zone on www.LSUsports.net/live. The game also will be carried live on Country Legends 104.9 FM in the Baton Rouge area with Patrick Wright and Matt Dunaway set to call the action.

Fans can follow every pitch of LSU softball this season via live in-game updates on LSU softball's social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball and @lsu_softball on Twitter.

Softball Postgame Quotes
LSU vs. Georgia - April 29, 2012

Head Coach Beth Torina

On Brittany Mack's first career hit and RBI and Rachele Fico's pitching performance...
"I don't think you could have scripted a much better day for Senior Day at Tiger Park. All the seniors contributed. They've had such great careers, and they deserve this day. I really don't know if it gets a lot better than this."

On getting the win today with the possibility of facing Georgia in the SEC Tournament...
"I think we have a good chance of seeing them so it was great to go out and get the win against them. It was a huge win for our season, it was a huge win for this program and it was a huge win for these seniors."

On her thought process following Brittany Mack's RBI double...
"All I could think was 'Are you kidding me?' It was unbelievable for her to get her first career hit and her first career RBI in that moment. I know Brittney's a good hitter, and I have all the confidence in her abilities. The fact that she's the one that scored that run today - she's the one that was selfless, and she gave up the ball before the game to allow to Rachele Fico to pitch. You really just couldn't have scripted a better ending to their Senior Day."

On the senior class...
"They've truly taught me what it means to be an LSU Tiger. They've truly shown me what it means to wear Purple and Gold. They've been such a good example for what this program really means. Off the field, these guys are great people, they're great citizens, they're great in this Baton Rouge community and they've taught me a lot about what it means."

On the upcoming series against Kentucky...
"They've been playing really well, without question. They've been pitching really well. We have our work cut out for us - which is nothing we don't know about. Anytime we play an SEC team, we have our work cut out for us. They have a great coach in Rachel Lawson and a great team, so I had no doubt that they'd be in this spot at the end of the season. We'll prepare for them all week - we have a great week to do it, and we'll be ready when we get to Lexington."

Pitcher Rachele Fico

On Brittany Mack giving her the ball today...
"Brittany Mack is so awesome. She's such a great competitor and such a good person. All she wants to do is win. She probably wants to win more than anyone on the field, and that's really saying something because our team is filled with people that have just so much drive and will to win. She was doing whatever it took today. She went up to bat, took her hacks and she crushed the pitch - it was exactly what we needed from her. As soon as she did that, I knew I had to go to work and get this win for her. Our team played phenomenal as a whole today, and we really bounced back well from the previous two games against Georgia. They're a great team. We just came in and got it done today. This win was for our seniors."

On her emotions as Brittany Mack got her RBI double...
"I was so proud of Brittany Mack. She's the kind of player that just always wants the ball in her hands. She always wants to be the person that makes the big play and wants to be the person that wins the game. That's exactly what she did today. I couldn't be happier for her. To tell you the truth, I don't expect anything less from her. I don't care that it was her first career hit - I knew she could get it done, and she did."

On her relationship with Brittany Mack over these past few years...
"Brittany Mack is awesome. I'm so glad that she's my teammate, and she's one of my best friends - on and off the field. She works so hard and sets such a good example for everyone else. I'm just so happy that she's my teammate. I couldn't be prouder of her today coming up to bat and getting the job done."

On getting the win today with the possibility of facing Georgia in the SEC Tournament...
"This win was huge today for us. We got swept against Tennessee earlier in the year, and we vowed that we wouldn't let it happen again. We knew that we really had to come out fighting today and do whatever it took to win. We really got it done. We've got to keep playing this way - practicing hard and executing in games."

On the upcoming series against Kentucky...
"Kentucky is a great team, and they've shown that they play better and better in the postseason. Last year, they went to a super regional. We've really got to bring our 'A' game and give them everything we've got."

Pitcher Brittany Mack

On her emotions after she got her first career hit and RBI...
"It was a solid hit. I thought that with my luck, the centerfielder was going to make a miraculous dive and catch it. I looked up and saw that it kept going, so I had to fist pump. I kept going to second. It was just unbelievable not only to get the hit but also to score Alex Boulet. I told her when she was going out to pinch run, I told her, 'You're scoring this time.'"

On giving the ball to Rachele Fico today and her relationship with Fico...
"She's my best friend on the team - I've told everyone. We have such a good combination pitching wise. Before the game, I told Coach Torina I wanted to win today. She asked me if I wanted to pitch because it would be my option. I told her I wanted to win, and told her if she wanted me to play today for Senior Day, let me hit."

On her career here at LSU...
"It's meant everything to me. It's sad because of all four years, this is the year that's gone by the fastest. I told everyone before the game because everyone was asking me if I was doing okay. These four years have been so unbelievable. This season is just going to top it off as long as we can just keep going and keep winning. I would love to make it to the Women's College World Series this year."

On getting the win today with the possibility of facing Georgia in the SEC Tournament...
"That was one thing we told ourselves. After Tennessee, both Coach Torina and all the girls said we're not getting swept again. Especially at our home stadium and on Family Day and Senior Day, so we weren't going to let it happen. We were going to claw, scratch, do whatever we had to do to get the win today."

On the upcoming series against Kentucky...
"We definitely have to make sure we stay focused and stay strong. We may not have the home field advantage, but we have this advantage of winning today. We didn't win the series, but we got the win today. We are going into the Kentucky weekend knowing we just got a win. We just have to stay strong and finish this last SEC series."

 

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