Along with hitting her seventh HR, Bianka Bell pitched for the first time in 2013.
Photo by:Chris Parent, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
No. 13 Softball Defeats Southeastern La., 5-1
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Published: March 26, 2013, 09:33 PM (CT)
Updated: March 26, 2013, 09:35 PM (CT)
by Matt Dunaway, Associate SID

BATON ROUGE – Bianka Bell and Tammy Wray connected for their team-leading seventh home runs of the season as the No. 13 LSU softball team got back on the winning track and completed its 10-game homestand with a 5-1 victory over Southeastern Louisiana at Tiger Park.

LSU (28-6) won its ninth straight decision over the Lady Lions (18-11) dating back to the 2007 season. The Tigers also have won 14 of their last 17 outings since March 1.

Bell led the nine-hit attack with a 2-for-3 performance, two runs scored and two RBIs. Alayna Falcon also secured her first career hit in a pinch-hitting role.

Meghan Patterson tossed 6.2 frames of four-hit ball and recorded seven strikeouts against two walks to claim her fifth win of the season. 

“We did a good job of scoring early,” head coach Beth Torina said. “Meghan Patterson did well. She kept them in check the entire game. I thought she was really solid. There was never a moment where we questioned her. We got a lot of people in the game tonight, and we got some opportunities for people. Seeing Alayna get her first hit was a lot of fun. It’s nice when all these girls who work so hard out here get some opportunities when they can.”

“The drop ball has definitely been looking good for me these past couple of games,” Patterson said. “Also, the curve ball was one of my go-to pitches tonight. I just stuck with my plan and made sure my pitches were moving.”

LSU raced out to a 3-0 advantage during the first inning. A.J. Andrews knocked a leadoff infield single, stole second base and scooted over to third on a Jacee Blades groundout. She crossed the plate with the game’s first run on a Bell infield single.

Sandra Simmons slapped an infield single of her own to extend her career-long hitting streak to six games. An error by the Southeastern second baseman enabled Bell to advance to third base, and she scored on Allison Falcon’s sacrifice fly to centerfield to make it 2-0.

Rikki Alcaraz belted a RBI double into the left centerfield to score Simmons and cap LSU’s three-run first inning. The Tigers improved to 14-0 and have outscored their opponents by a 41-8 margin during the first inning this season.

Wray opened the fourth inning with a solo shot that one-hopped over the left field berm, while Bell ripped one-out dinger to straight-away centerfield with one out during the fifth inning to extend the LSU lead to 5-0.

“They always have to have answer for each other, one homers then the next one does,” Torina said. “It is a lot of fun and definitely a game within the game. Those two just have so much power. It is great for them to do the things they are capable of doing.”

“It’s a good thing, we (Tammy and I) just make things happen for our team,” Bell said. “Good things are happening for both of us. To have someone to compete with is making me a better player. I am sure it is making her a better player as well.”

Southeastern Louisiana scored its lone run of the game in the seventh inning. With Bell making her Tiger debut in the circle, the Lady Lions took advantage of two walks, a hit batter and an infield single. Patterson reentered the game and recorded two strikeouts to secure the 5-1 win. 

“Coming back in, I wasn’t nervous at all,” Patterson said. “I just focused on my pitches one at a time. I didn’t want to look at it as I had to go out there and strike them out. I just wanted to get the outs anyway I could – a little dribbler, a pop out or anything besides a hit in that situation.”

LSU hits the road to meet No. 25 South Alabama on Wednesday. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will be carried online only for Geaux Zone subscribers at www.LSUsports.net/live.

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

LSU Postgame Quotes – March 26, 2013
No. 13 LSU vs. Southeastern Louisiana

HEAD COACH BETH TORINA

On tonight’s game …
“We did a good job of scoring early. Meghan Patterson did well. She kept them in check the entire game. I thought she was really solid. There was never a moment where we questioned her. We got a lot of people in the game tonight. It’s fun. We got some opportunities for people. Seeing Alayna Falcon get her first hit was a lot of fun. It’s nice when all these girls who work so hard out here get some opportunities when they can.”

On Bianka Bell and Tammy Wray friendly competition for the team lead in home runs … 
“They always have to have answer for each other, one homers then the next one does. It is a lot of fun and definitely a game within the game. Those two just have so much power. It is great for them to do the things they are capable of doing.”

On Bianka Bell’s entering the game to pitch in the seventh inning…
“At least we got her feet wet. She was extremely nervous. Hopefully next time we do it, she won’t have the nerves that she had tonight. She’s been there and done that. She is capable of doing a lot of things on the mound. She was throwing really hard it seemed to me. She just couldn’t get a break with some of the calls. The more we get her out there, the better she will be. She is definitely someone who can help us in a lot of different areas. She is a special player.”

On facing South Alabama tomorrow on the road…
“It is a big game tomorrow. We aren’t taking it lightly. We know how talented they are, and we are going to bring our best. It is a long road trip for us having to play on the same day, but we are going to bring our ‘A’ game. We are going to bring everything we got to them. We understand that they are a quality program.”

SS/P BIANKA BELL

On getting back on the winning track…
“We were all pretty down about Sunday obviously. The plan for today was we all had to stay within ourselves and put the pressure on them. We had to make more plays and hit the ball better than we did Sunday.”

On scoring early in tonight’s game …
“Our leadoff hitters definitely did their jobs today and got on-base. Our middle part of the lineup was able to scrap up some things together and hit the ball better to score the runs.”

On the friendly competition with Tammy Wray for the team’s home run lead …
“It’s a good thing. We just make things happen for our team. Good things are happening for both of us. To have someone to compete with is making me a better player. I am sure it is making her a better player as well.”

On her first pitching performance of the season…
“It definitely wasn’t pretty, but I am glad I got the time out there. Next time, I will be excited when I am asked to be in the circle and try to do a better job for our team.”

P MEGHAN PATTERSON

On getting back on track after Sunday’s loss …
“The last couple times I have pitched, the team has struggled to score runs for me. When they busted out those three runs in the first inning, I was really excited and really pumped up.”

On her pitching performance …
“The drop ball has definitely been looking good for me these past couple of games. Also, the curve ball was one of my go-to pitches tonight. I just stuck with my plan and made sure my pitches were moving.”

On coming back into the game during seventh inning …
“Coming back in, I wasn’t nervous at all. I was still warm. I just focused on my pitches one at a time. I didn’t want to look at it as I had to go out there and strike them out. I just wanted to get the outs anyway I could – a little dribbler, a pop out or anything besides a hit in that situation.”

 

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