Information provided by LSU Athletics
LAKE CHARLES, La. – After finding spots of their lineup producing at different times, the No. 3 LSU softball team looked to get going as a group and broke out with 13 runs over the course of just three innings as the Tigers defeated the McNeese State Cowgirls 13-4 in five innings Wednesday night at Cowgirl Diamond in Lake Charles.
Eight different LSU (39-5) players produced at least one hit, with four having two against McNeese (26-18), while drawing a season-high 10 walks in the process which led to the Tigers scoring four runs in the second, five in the third and four again in the fourth, producing 12 hits in the contest.
Finishing with multiple hits on the night were Bailey Landry who went 2-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored, Bianka Bell going 2-for-3 with two RBI, Sahvanna Jaquish going 2-for-2 with a double and run scored, and Sandra Simmons going 2-for-2 with three runs scored and two walks.
The hit of the night however belonged to junior outfielder Alayna Falcon, as she went 1-for-2, not only earning the first home run of her LSU career, but having that home run also earn the Donaldsonville, La., nativeher first grand slam as she finished with a new career-best five RBIs and two runs scored.
Allie Walljasper (11-2) earned the win and needed just 41 pitches to hold the Cowgirls to two unearned runs on just one hit with three walks and a strikeout. Walljasper pitched four innings, giving way to Baylee Corbello, who pitched the final inning and allowed two runs on one hit with a walk and a strikeout.
After being spotted two runs on two miscues by the Tigers after one frame, the Cowgirls would be unable to match the same drive of the Tigers from that point on as McNeese used four pitchers on the night, as Emily Vincent earned the loss allowing four runs on one hit with five walks and a strikeout. Of the four pitchers, just one made it through without tossing a free pass, with only one not giving up any runs to the Tigers in the game. McNeese's Erika Piancastelli had both of the Cowgirls' hits, driving in two with two runs scored.
After LSU got two runners on in the opening frame, McNeese State got their first two outs quickly, but a single and a stolen base put a runner in scoring position for the Cowgirls. A walk put two on, as a grounder to Bell should have been the third out but the throw at first was dropped allowing a run to score to make it 1-0 Cowgirls.
On the next play with runners at the corners, the baserunner at first at first took off for second, as the throw in from Kellsi Kloss was true and should have ended the inning, but popped out of the glove allowing the runner from third to score to make it 2-0 McNeese.
Consecutive walks to Simmons, Dylan Supak and Falcon loaded the bases for LSU in the top of the second inning as the team was staring down a two-run deficit. A.J. Andrews hit a deep enough fly to left to drive in Simmons from third on the sacrifice fly to make it 2-1 for the second out of the inning.
A walk to Landry loaded the bases again for LSU, as the Tigers came through with a ripped single by Bell through the middle to score two, as an error on the throw from center allowed another run to score, while Bell was thrown out at third to end the inning, but giving LSU the lead at 4-2.
Walks again played into LSU's favor in the third inning, as Jaquish earned a walk to reach first, with a ripped single by Kloss putting two on for the Tigers. An infield single by Simmons loaded the bases for LSU, as Supak flew out to right, scoring Jaquish to make it 5-2. Alayna Falcon grounded out to second but did what she needed scoring Kloss to give the Tigers a 6-2 advantage.
A walk to Sydney Bourg put runners at the corners for LSU, with another free pass to Andrews loading the bags for the visitors. After McNeese's third pitching change of the game, an illegal pitch on the first pitch of Landry's at bat was illegal, allowing the runners to advance and Simmons to score to make it 7-2. In that very same at-bat, Landry drove one on the ground through the right side, driving in two to make it 9-2.
In the top of the fourth, Jaquish opened the frame with a double off of the wall in right center to get into scoring position easily. After a liner for the first out, Simmons hit a bloop single to center, keeping Jaquish at second but putting two on for LSU, as Layna Savoie came in to pinch run at second base.
Kailey McCasland came on to pinch hit for LSU, and earned an infield single to load the bases for the Tigers, leaving the bases juiced for Falcon, as with a 3-2 count got the pitch she wanted and launched it over fence and the scoreboard in left for the team's fifth grand slam of the season to put LSU up 13-2.
LSU returns to action on Saturday, opening a three-game conference series against the Texas A&M Aggies at 6 p.m. at Tiger Park. Saturday's game is the fourth-annual "Strikeout Ovarian Cancer" game, which closes a day of events which includes the third-annual Geaux Teal walk at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.