LSU softball opens Tiger Classic with a couple of 9-0 wins

LSU softball opens Tiger Classic with a couple of 9-0 wins

Information provided by LSU Sports 

BATON ROUGE, La. – After powering through its season-opener just hours earlier, the third-ranked LSU softball team returned to the field for its nightcap and produced a similar effort in battering the North Florida Ospreys to the tune of nine runs on six hits, while getting a one-hit shutout from freshman pitcher Sydney Smith to earn a sweep of opponents on the first day of the 2016 Tiger Classic.

While LSU (2-0) was able to score a bulk of their nine runs much earlier in the first game, the Tigers didn't have to wait long to get its offense going, scoring seven runs in the second and third innings to take a commanding lead, getting the final two runs needed to earn the run-rule victory over the Ospreys (0-2) in the fourth.

"Obviously there are things we need to do better, but I liked that we were able to make adjustments from game to game," head coach Beth Torina said. "I thought we saw two completely different styles and we were able to make adjustments. We got contributions from a lot of different people."

Although LSU didn't have a player with a multi-hit game against UNF, they were still able to get production throughout the lineup with six different players earning a hit on the night.

The biggest hit came from the bat of senior infielder Jenna Kreamer who notched LSU's first home run of the season with a grand slam to give LSU a 4-0 lead in the third. It was Shreveport native's first home run in a Tiger uniform, going 1-for-2 with four RBIs and a run scored.

Along with Kreamer, four other LSU players drove in a run with Emily Griggs bringing in one with a double and Taylor Satchell coming in to pinch hit and earning a triple. Kellsi Kloss and Shemiah Sanchez were the other two to earn RBIs.

Commanding the mound in her first start, Smith struck out eight in the complete game performance, allowing just one hit coming in the third inning, as after she did her team was already up four after the grand slam, allowing her to stay confident in the circle.

"It was awesome. It's always nice when your offense is in it. It makes your job much easier," Smith said. "It goes back to having your teammates behind you the whole time and having her hit that boosted everybody up."

After a hitless inning and a half, LSU took to the bottom half of the second looking to get its offense going and got a walk from Bianka Bell to open the frame. Akiya Thymes came on to pinch run and immediately made an impact by going on to steal second base. A walk to Kloss put two on, as she and Thymes advanced to second and third after a wild pitch.

After an out was called at the plate, a walk to Sanchez loaded the bases and that would prove to be costly, as although there was no hit in the game up until that point, Kreamer would change all that with one swing, sending a shot to the Tiger Park Terrace in left center for the grand slam to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead.

After striking, LSU was set to pounce again in the third, as with an out both Sahvanna Jaquish and Bell were hit by pitches to put two on for the Tigers. Kloss drilled a deep single to center, as Jaquish rounded third and slid home before the tag to give LSU a 5-0 lead.

With Bell and Kloss now at second and third after the throw in, a pop up put LSU on the brink, but not before Sanchez singled to third allowing Bell to score to make it 6-0. The final run of the inning came in via error, as an errant throw on what should have been the third out went low allowing Kloss to score to make it 7-0 LSU.

In the very next inning, Landry opened with a ripped single up the middle, stealing second on the next play. With a favorable 2-0 count, Griggs stepped up and drilled a double into center, scoring Landry and making it 8-0 LSU. After consecutive outs, Satchell entered the game to pinch hit and made her only at-bat of the game count, producing a wall-banging triple to score Griggs and give LSU its final run of the night to make it 9-0.

Game One: LSU 9, Ohio State 0 (5 innings)

After a long wait, the No. 3 LSU softball team returned to the field and got a three-hit shutout from sophomore Carley Hoover and nine runs in the first three innings to defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes 9-0 in five innings in the team's first game of the 2016 Tiger Classic.

The Tigers (1-0) exploded for five runs in the first inning alone, batting around in the inning to take a commanding lead early, while getting a gem on the mound from Hoover (1-0) as she held the Buckeyes (1-1) to just three hits with five strikeouts and a walk in the complete-game effort.

LSU got multi-hit outings from junior Sahvanna Jaquish, who went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, while Emily Griggs went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and a stolen base. Bianka Bell drove in two and earned a hit, drawing a walk with a run scored.

"That's something that we expect. Our two slappers got on and from there we got rolling," Jaquish said. "We were all seeing the ball really well today."

In their first games as Tigers, freshmen Amber Serrett and Shemiah Sanchez made the most of their starts as Serrett went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Sanchez went 1-for-2 with a double and RBI.

Bailey Landry got walked on four straight pitches, as Griggs followed up with a walk of her own to put two on for the Tigers. With a 2-1 count, Jaquish laced one to left, coming off the bat so fast that everyone held up to load the bases with no outs. Bell got plunked on the very next at-bat to bring in Landry to make it 1-0 LSU.

In a lengthy plate appearance, Kellsi Kloss ripped a single through the left side of the infield, easily scoring Griggs, but the shot raced through the defense so fast that it halted Jaquish in her tracks, resulting in her being put out at home for the first out. It didn't deter the offense, as Simmons grounded out to second scoring Bell, Serrett singled scoring Kloss and Sanchez doubling to score Serrett to make it 5-0 Tigers.

With an out on the board, Griggs hit a chopping single through the middle to reach first. A single by Jaquish put two on, as Bell singled through the left side to score the LSU outfielder to give LSU a 6-0 lead over the Buckeyes.

Hoover ran into a small bit of trouble in the top of the third, as after a groundout, back-to-back singles put two runners on for the Buckeyes with just one out. Threatening, a slow roller back to the circle allowed Hoover to get out the lead runner at third, with Quinn picking up a grounder at second to end the inning and preserve the early shutout.

Serrett led off the top of the third inning with a single to right. A sacrifice bunt by Sanchez moved the freshman up to second for the first out. A fly out to deep right by Constance Quinn allowed Serrett to tag up to move to third, but with two outs it looked like she would be stranded just steps away from home plate, but not until a Landry infield single came through as she beat out the tag to score to make it 7-0.

Griggs reached on a hit, as Landry moved up to third to put runners at the corners. After Griggs stole second, it set the table for Jaquish as she laced a double to right scoring both to make it 9-0 LSU.

Looking to close out the game, LSU would need to use a little extra effort to close the door as after an infield hit, Hoover hit a batter to put two on. Fortunately, LSU was able to get the next three to go down in order to preserve the victory for the squad.

LSU will be back in action on Saturday, playing in two more games taking on Connecticut and Pacific on day two of the Tiger Classic.

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