FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In a game that was suspended due to weather on Friday, the No. 12 LSU softball team would not be contained by the delay offensively as the Tigers produced 10 runs on 11 hits to defeat the Arkansas Razorbacks 10-6 in the series opener for both teams at Bogle Park.
LSU (38-13, 11-11 Southeastern) had six different players earn hits in the opener, led by Sandra Simmons and Allie Walljasper who combined for six of the group’s hits. Simmons was 3-for-4 with a double and a triple, an RBI and two runs scored, while Walljasper was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Sahvanna Jaquish led all players with three RBIs in a 2-for-4 contest, belting her 12th home run of the season with a double as well. The only other player to earn multiple RBIs in the game was Kellsi Kloss who drove in two and scored once with a double.
Walljasper (9-5) earned the victory in the complete game effort, striking out seven with no walks against the Razorbacks (17-34, 1-18).
Claire Clark (4-4) suffered the loss, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on six hits with six walks. Peyton Carter came on in relief and pitched four innings, allowing two runs on five hits as neither pitcher had a strikeout. Four players earned two hits on the day for Arkansas offensively.
The Tigers wasted no time in getting on the board early, as Simmons was walked to reach first and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Emily Griggs. On the first pitch of her at-bat Bianka Bell roped one to the fence in right center for the double to score Simmons and give the Tigers a 1-0 advantage early.
An infield grounder to second allowed Bell to move to third, as after a walk to Kloss to put runners at the corners, Walljasper singled to left to make it 2-0, as an error in the outfield allowed the two to move to second and third, but an infield popup ended the inning.
Arkansas peeled a run back in the bottom half of the frame, as with two out a solo home run to left to cut LSU’s lead to 2-1.
A walk to Amber Serrett opened the LSU second, as another one to Bailey Landry put two on. Consecutive fly outs puts LSU on the brink of ending the inning, but a walk to Bell kept it alive and after a lengthy at bat, Jaquish doubled off the wall in left to drive in two to make it 4-1. A double for Kloss brought in two more to make it 6-1, with Walljasper earning a single to left to score one more to make it 7-1.
Arkansas would not quit, even down six as the Razorbacks plated three runs in the bottom half of the inning on four hits to cut LSU’s lead to 7-4.
With a pair of outs in the third, Simmons laced a triple off the wall in center, as a walk to Griggs put runners at the corners right after. Bell reached on an error at third, allowing Simmons to score to make it an 8-4 game, with Griggs being put out at third to end the inning.
In the first at-bat of the fourth, Jaquish took a 2-2 pitch and launched it over the fence in left for the solo shot to extend LSU’s lead to 9-4, as the game would get another out before the delay began and would eventually be suspended until Saturday.
In the bottom half of the fourth, the Razorbacks produced three hits in the frame and plated another run to pull within four of the Tigers at 9-5, as LSU would be able to keep the home side off the board the rest of the way and ended up stranding two on base with LSU coming back up to bat.
In the fifth, Serrett looped a single down the right field line to reach first, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt for the first out. Simmons wasted little time answering back as she ripped a double to the wall in right center to plate the LSU shortstop to give LSU a 10-5 lead.
Arkansas scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff double in the frame and after two outs, a wild pitch and a single to left brought in another Razorback run to make it a 10-6 game. Arkansas would go down in order in the seventh, securing the victory for LSU.
Game two of the series is set for a 6 p.m. first pitch in Fayetteville Saturday. The game will be televised live on ESPNU.
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