No. 4 Tigers Pound Kentucky for Two Wins
LSU Sports Interactive
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Nine runs in the top of the sixth inning of game one propelled the fourth-ranked LSU softball team to a pair of run-rule victories over Kentucky, 9-1 in six innings and 9-0 in five innings, on Saturday afternoon at the Kentucky Softball Complex.
With the wins, the Tigers (38-7, 15-4 SEC) have now won 11 consecutive games, including eight straight Southeastern Conference games. The Wildcats dropped to 21-22-1 overall and 5-18 in league play.
Trailing 1-0 going into the sixth, LSU used eight hits, two walk s and a hit by pitch to score nine runs in the top of the inning and take the 9-1 win. The Tigers used that momentum and five Wildcat errors to take the 4-0 lead after two innings in game two before putting up five runs in the top of the fifth for the 9-0 win.
"It was good to come here and get the sweep on Saturday," said LSU head coach Yvette Girouard. "We made it a little scary in the first game, but after we had hit the ball hard all game long, we finally got some breaks in the sixth inning. I liked the way we came back in the second game and took advantage of the Kentucky miscues. We need to keep the momentum going tomorrow and try to come out and take the series sweep."
Freshman Leslie Klein went 3-for-7 on the day with a double, a home run and four runs batted in. Both Stephanie Hill and Lauren Castle recorded three-hit games as they each finished the day at 4-for-7, while combining for three RBIs and three runs scored.
Kristin Schmidt earned the complete-game win for the Tigers in game one to move to 22-4 on the season. She allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts. Emily Turner came back for a complete-game win in game two to move to 15-3 on the year. In her eighth complete-game shutout of the season, she allowed just three hits with four strikeouts.
In game one, Kentucky took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as Amber Janneck hit her 11th home run of the season to right center field. The leadoff homer gave the Wildcats the 1-0 lead.
After having people on base in the first four innings and not being able to push a run across, the Tigers finally got on the board in a big way in the sixth inning. Castle led off with a base hit to left field, her third hit of the game. She advanced to second as Klein laid down the bunt single. An infield single by Lauren Delahoussaye loaded the bases for the Tigers.
Hill then singled through the left side to score Castle from third and tie the game. A bases loaded walk to Julie Wiese scored the go ahead run. Leigh Ann Danos then singled up the middle to score Delahoussaye. On a fielder's choice by Sara Fitzgerald, Hill was thrown out on the force play at home for the first out of the inning.
A single to center field by Camille Harris scored Wiese before LaDonia Hughes was hit by a pitch to score Lauren Uhle, pinch running for Danos. Castle then drew a walk to score Fitzgerald. On an illegal pitch, Harris scored as Castle moved to second and Hughes went to third. A double off the center field wall by Klein scored Hughes and Castle and concluded the scoring for LSU.
Amy Kendall started and took the loss for Kentucky to fall to 7-12 on the year. She allowed three runs on seven hits with one strikeout in five innings.
Gretchen Prugh came on in relief in the sixth and allowed six runs on three this with two walks in a third of an inning. Crustalie Wolfe closed out the game, allowing two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
In the second game, the Tigers wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Hughes reached on a walk to start the game. After she stole second, she moved to third on a wild pitch. With one out, Klein reached on a throwing error by the pitcher that scored Hughes from third.
An inning later LSU added three more runs, taking advantage of three more Kentucky errors. With one out, Harris reached on a fielding error by the shortstop. After stealing second, she moved to third on a throwing error by the pitcher as Hughes reached.
As Hughes attempted to steal second, the catcher threw down to third. The ball bounced away from the third baseman, allowing Harris and Hughes to score. Klein then hit her 11th home run of the season to right center field to extend the lead to 4-0.
In the top of the fifth, Delahoussaye reached on a fielding error by the second baseman. Hill then singled up the middle to move Delahoussaye to second. A double to center field by Wiese scored Delahosusaye and sent Hill to third. Fitzgerald then drew a walk to load the bases.
Harris then drew a walk to score Hill from third and keep the bases loaded. A single to left field by Hughes scored Wiese. On a bunt single by Castle, Harris scored from third. As Castle attempted to get caught in the rundown between first and second, Hughes tried to take home, but was thrown out at the plate with the Tigers leading 9-0.
Prugh went the distance for Kentucky in the circle and took the loss to fall to 4-6 on the season. She allowed nine runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
The Tigers will go for their fourth series sweep of the season on Sunday at noon (CDT). The game can be heard on the LSU Sports Network in Baton Rouge on Country Legends 107.3 FM and on the internet at www.LSUsports.net.
LSU 000 009 - 9 12 1
Kentucky 000 100 - 1 5 1
Schmidt and Danos. Kendall, Prugh (6), Wolfe (6) and Campbell. W - Schmidt (22-4). L - Kendall (7-12). HR - Janneck. T - 2:07.
LSU 130 05 - 9 7 0
Kentucky 000 00 - 0 3 5
Turner and Danos, Hobbs. Prugh and Campbell. W - Turner (15-3). L - Prugh (4-6). HR - Klein. T - 1:37. A - 160.