Information provided by LSU Athletics
BATON ROUGE, La. – Deadlocked in a scoreless draw midway through three innings, the No. 5 LSU softball team exploded for 10 runs over the course of two innings, while starting pitcher Carley Hoover bookended only two hits allowed as the Tigers defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 10-0 in five innings Friday at Tiger Park.
With a combined three total hits between the two sides heading into the bottom of that third inning, the LSU (23-0, 1-0 SEC) bats came alive in a big way to the tune of all 10 runs coming in the next two batting rounds for the Tigers, coming off of nine hits to pull ahead for good and giving Hoover (6-0) the opportunity to close the door in the very next frame.
The 10 runs scored by LSU are the second-most ever for an LSU team in an SEC home opener, as this is only the second time in program history that the team has run-ruled an opponent in the very first league game of the year in Baton Rouge.
"I think it was the second time through the lineup. It's tough to get us out that second time through," head coach Beth Torina said. "Once they've seen the pitcher, make some adjustments and get their timing, I think they are pretty tough to get out. Seeing Sydney Wright again was the difference."
Leading the way at the plate for LSU was junior Bianka Bell who went 3-for-3 with a double, triple, RBI and two runs scored, followed by Bailey Landry, who extended her hitting streak to 15 games which ties the longest in team history along with fellow teammate A.J. Andrews after going 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs.
Hoover was solid in the circle for LSU, earning her sixth win of the year by giving up two hits with nine strikeouts and a walk on just 84 pitches. Of her 84, 59 were for strikes as after giving up a hit in the first, retired 12 of the next 13 before closing the game out earning the complete-game victory.
"I felt pretty crisp today," Hoover said. "I think I had a slow week but Kellsi played really hard behind the plate tonight and helped me out."
Wright (7-3) suffered the loss after giving up four runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout for Arkansas (12-8, 0-1) in 2.1 innings, as Haley Meinen pitched the next 1.2 allowing six runs on four hits with three walks in relief.
With the game still locked in a scoreless draw in the bottom of the third, an opening-inning walk to Emily Griggs put one on for the Tigers, as a check-swing grounder by Andrews moved her over to second base. Down in the count at 1-2, Landry connected and laced one down the left field line to score the left fielder and motored around for the triple to give LSU a 1-0 lead.
Going deep into the count in her own at-bat, Bell lifted one high into the night air that ricocheted off the top of the fence to easily score Landry as Bell earned a triple of her own to make it 2-0 Tigers. Jaquish would put the curtains on Wright for the contest, as ahead in the count at 3-0, she completely unloaded on the fourth pitch of the at-bat and sent it to the berm to give LSU a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Dylan Supak drew a walk and was replaced on the bases by Taylor Lockwood. A walk to Constance Quinn put two on for LSU, as a passed ball advanced the two to second and third. In a clutch at-bat, Griggs ripped a double to left center to score both to put the team up 6-0.
A bunt single by Andrews put runners at the corners for the Tigers, as Andrews stole second to put two in scoring position. A single up the middle by Landry scored two more for LSU to give the Tigers an 8-0 lead with no outs. Bell followed suit with a double to right center to put two more back in scoring places, as Jaquish was intentionally walked to load the bases.
In back-to-back order, Kloss and Sandra Simmons drove in two runs, both coming on sacrifice flies to make it a 10-0 score for the Tigers for the final two runs of the frame.
"Give their pitcher credit. She was pitching a great game tonight and we couldn't really find a pitch that we wanted to look for," Jaquish said. "In the third inning we knew what she was going to throw, so you play to your strength and we played our game."
Game two of the series is set for a 4 p.m. start at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge Saturday afternoon.