Information provided by LSU Sports
BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 3 LSU softball team earned a 13-2 win over the Connecticut Huskies, while closing the day falling to the Pacific Tigers 2-1 in a split of the day’s action on day two of the 2016 Tiger Classic Saturday afternoon in Baton Rouge.
While LSU (3-1) was able to earn its third-straight run-rule victory earlier in the day, the Tigers were stifled offensively in the night game in being held to just a single run on five hits, while committing three errors. Pacific scored a run in the first and again in the fourth, as LSU was just able to plate a run in the fourth to pull within one.
“I think we’re still trying to understand our personnel and how best to use them. I think having a deep roster is a rally nice benefit to a coach,” head coach Beth Torina said. “We got into some situations there where we really had to manage the lineup differently than how I had done it in the past and I think that’s something that we have to improve upon from my standpoint. I think the team has plenty of things that they need to improve upon as well. I think as a staff we can be better too. As we get into the season we understand our personnel better.”
After driving in six in the first game of the day, Sahvanna Jaquish had another solid game going 2-for-3 with a walk, while freshman Shemiah Sanchez drove in the only run as she went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk.
“Give them credit, they did a great job and their pitcher did a great job of just mixing it up on the plate and we didn’t make the adjustments soon enough,” Jaquish said.
Allie Walljasper (0-1) earned the start and suffered the loss, allowing two unearned runs on eight hits with two strikeouts in six innings of work. Carley Hoover came on in relief and pitched the final inning and struck out all three batters she faced.
“We can’t look back. We have to capitalize on what we did well in this game and just move forward from here and focus on the next one,” Walljasper said. “We have to clean up some things but I have no doubt in my team doing that.”
The visitors wasted little time in trying to silence the Tiger Park crowd, getting a single to open the game. An error didn’t help matters for LSU, as after a strikeout, a ground-rule double to left center plated a run to make it 1-0 Pacific.
LSU looked like it was going to strike back in the bottom half of the inning, as after a walk to Bailey Landry, Emily Griggs legged out a single to put two on for LSU. A single to short center loaded the bases, but the team would come up fruitless after a double play forced out a run at home, as after another walk to re-load the bases a grounder to the circle ended the inning.
Pacific scored again in the fourth, as with two outs on the board an error put a runner on, with an infield single putting two on. A single to the short porch in right was fielded and the throw in was dropped at the plate allowing a run to score to make it 2-0 Pacific.
In the bottom of that same inning, Sandra Simmons drew a walk to reach first with one out on the board. A single through the right side by Walljasper put two Tigers on, with Taylor Satchell coming in to pinch run at first for Walljasper. After a strikeout, Sanchez connected for a single to center to score Simmons, with runners now at second and third. Unfortunately, a grounder to second ended the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Griggs drew a walk to reach base, and made it all to way to third after a deep fly for the second out after tagging up, but was left stranded after a grounder to third ended the frame.
After Pacific nearly threatened to plate another run in the top of the sixth, LSU came back in the next frame and got a walk to Walljasper as Akiya Thymes came on to run at first. She moved to second after a grounder for the second out, but a walk to Sanchez put two on. It looked like LSU was starting to build some momentum and try and claw back, but an infield grounder ended the inning with the 2-1 score intact.
Hoover came on in relief and struck out the side in order to give LSU a chance to try and win the game in the bottom of the seventh, and after a grounder Jaquish singled up the middle to reach first. She moved to second after a wild pitch to get into scoring position, but after a groundout, Kloss drew a walk to put two on. Unfortunately for LSU, a grounder to short ended the game.
“I think that’s the one positive we can take out of this, is that not only we get another game tomorrow, but get another game tomorrow against (Pacific),” Torina said. “We can prove to ourselves and where we stand with them first thing in the morning as soon as we get going and hopefully we can show up the way we want to show up. Our kids have a nice opportunity to prove whatever they want to prove.”
Game 1: LSU 13, UConn 2
After being held scoreless and hitless in the first two innings, the No. 3 LSU softball team came to life in a big way, plating 13 runs in the third inning alone to power past the Connecticut Huskies to the tune of a 13-2 win in five innings Saturday afternoon in the first game for the team Saturday in the Tiger Classic.
The Tigers (3-0) nearly batted around twice in the frame alone, earning six of their eight hits in the frame and using two errors by the Huskies (1-3) to keep the scoring going as LSU sent 17 batters to the plate over the course of the marathon inning.
“It was a big inning. I think our kids did their job. They did what they needed to do,” Beth Torina said. “I thought we got a good performance on the mound from Bailee Corbello. I thought we got a really nice performance from Amber Serrett both at shortstop and at the plate. We had some kids do some really good things that game.”
Six LSU players finished the game with hits, led by junior Sahvanna Jaquish who drove in six in the contest, drilling a double but saving her best for later that inning as she hit the team’s second grand slam of the weekend, scoring twice.
In her first LSU start, local freshman Elyse Thornhill made the most of her debut by drilling two doubles for both of her hits with two RBIs and a run scored. Kellsi Kloss, Sandra Simmons, Serrett and Constance Quinn each drove in runs on the day, with Bailey Landry, Emily Griggs and Quinn all scoring twice.
In her first start of the season, junior Baylee Corbello went the distance and allowed a pair of runs on just five hits with three walks and a strikeout. She threw 77 pitches in the game, with 43 for strikes.
After struggling through the first two innings, the third opened with an out for the sixth consecutive batter, but it would be the last one for a while as Thornhill came back with a scorching double to right to take her base. Quinn drew a walk to put two on, as the pressure started to build for the visiting Huskies.
A fielding error on a dropped fly ball in left field resulted in a bases loaded opportunity for the Tigers, as another error on a throw from the pitcher was high to allow Thornhill to score to make it 1-0 LSU. On the very next play, Jaquish blasted a double to center driving in Landry and Quinn to make it 3-0.
After a pitching change, a walk to Bianka Bell loaded the bases for LSU, as two runs came in right after with a Kloss walk and Simmons hit by pitch to make it 5-0, which prompted UConn to make its second pitching change of the inning.
Serrett came back up to bat and singled up the middle of the infield to score Bell to make it 6-0. Just like her first at-bat, Thornhill stepped up again and doubled to left to score Simmons and Kloss to give LSU an eight-run advantage. Quinn followed suit with a bloop single down the right field line to score Serrett to make it 9-0 LSU.
A walk to Landry put two back on for LSU, as a fielder’s choice forced out Thornhill at home for the second out of the inning. Although the Tigers didn’t score then, all it did was set the table for Jaquish who to took three straight pitches and on the fourth pounced and sent it to the highest level of the terrace for the grand slam to cap the inning with the 13-0 lead.
The Huskies got on the board in the very next inning, getting a leadoff home run to make it 13-1 LSU leading. Corbello would have some work to do to get out of the inning, as she would get the next two batters to go down in order, dished out two walks and hit a batter to load the bases. Fortunately, the next batter grounded out to third to end the frame without further damage.
Although Pacific would plate another run in the final frame, the lead would never be in doubt as the Tigers shut the door and preserved the victory.
LSU will be back in action on Sunday, closing out play in the Tiger Classic against Pacific at 11:30 a.m. in Tiger Park.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball and @BethTorina on Twitter and @lsusb on Instagram.