Stein Hits Walk-Off Homer to Cap Senior Day Sweep
NOTE: The Diamond Backer crawfish boil will go on as scheduled following Sunday’s LSU vs. Arkansas game.
BATON ROUGE — A walk-off three-run home run by Shannon Stein in the bottom of the eighth inning gave No. 15 LSU the doubleheader sweep of Arkansas, 4-0 and 8-6, on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Tiger Park.
With the senior presentations coming a day early because of the threat of a rain out on Sunday, Stein made the post-game event much more of a joyous occasion. The senior came through with the game-winning hit on just her second home run of the season and only her third homer in three years with the Tigers.
“It was kind of like a storybook day if you were ever going to script a Senior Day,” said LSU head coach Yvette Girouard. “It was a tough one to lose if you’re Arkansas, but we have been on the bad end of that a lot this year.”
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Arkansas hurler Katy Henry was called for an illegal pitch that scored Rachel Mitchell from third to tie the game up and sent it to extra innings.
“I didn’t see what their pitcher had done illegally, but (assistant coach) Megan (Smith) saw it,” said Girouard. “She went from the rosin bag straight to the ball and you have to wipe your hand off before you can do that. I saw the call out of the corner of my eye and started jumping up and down.”
Jazz Jackson then put LSU in the position to get the walk-off win by saving a grand slam in the top of the eighth. With two outs and the bases loaded for Arkansas, Sandra Smith hit a ball to deep left field that Jackson went up and over the wall to come down with for the third out to keep the Tigers within one and set up the game-winning play.
“We had some magnificent plays,” said Girouard. “Jazz saved a grand slam in the top of the inning. I was kind of fussing at Stein in her at-bat because I thought it was a ball that she swung at to get to 3-2. I was fussing at Tayl’r because I was fussing at Stein and then she hit the next pitch out.”
With the wins, LSU improved to 37-14 on the year and 14-10 in Southeastern Conference play, assuring the Tigers of a place in the SEC Tournament in two weeks at Tiger Park. The losses dropped the Lady Razorbacks to 33-24 overall and 6-18 in conference play, dropping Arkansas to 10th in the league standings with four games left to play.
Cody Trahan earned the win in both games, recording a complete-game shutout win in game one before coming on in relief to earn the win in game two. The sophomore allowed only four hits with four walks and 10 strikeouts in her first outing, before coming on with one out in the top of the eighth and getting the final two outs in the win to improve to 14-4 on the season.
“Once Cody established some pitches, she kept them off balance and was able to get some strikeouts, which is something we haven’t been doing,” said Girouard. “She hasn’t had that many strikeouts in a while.”
Tiffany Garcia started game two and gave up five runs, only two of which were earned, on five hits with two walks in four and a third. Casey Faile came on in relief and allowed one run on a solo home run in the top of the eighth, while giving up three hits and a walk and striking out three in three innings.
“It took the staff to win the second game,” said Girouard. “The seniors had a great day and we got both of the games in and avoided the rainout.”
Mitchell continued her hot streak at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a triple, an RBI and three runs scored. She was also walked twice for a .857 on base percentage for the day. Roessner was 4-for-6 with a home run, an RBI and a run scored, while Duhon was 2-for-5 with two walks, a double and a home run.
In the first game, LSU got on the board in the bottom of the first. The Tigers led off with three straight singles, with the third scoring Dee Dee Henderson from third to put LSU ahead, 1-0. The Tigers then posted back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the sixth to put the game away. With a runner on base, Duhon recorded her seventh home run of the year. Roessner then came up and responded with her 10th homer of the seasons as LSU went on to win, 4-0.
After walking the leadoff batter to start the game, Trahan retired eight straight before giving up a triple off the glove of Duhon in right field in the third. Arkansas loaded the bases in the top of the fifth with two outs, but Trahan got Miranda Dixon to pop out harmlessly to shortstop to end the threat. The Tigers hurler gave up two more hits in the game, but no base runner reached second as Roessner picked off pinch runner Teighynne Hulsey for the second to last out and Jessica Bachkora grounded out to senior Tayl’r Hollis to end the game.
Katy Henry started and took the loss for Arkansas in the first game to fall to 16-11 on the season. She allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in five and a third innings. Layne McGuirt came on in relief in the sixth and retired both batters she faced by strikeout.
The second game saw the scoring come in batches. With the game scoreless, LSU erupted for five runs in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Mitchell tripled to right field, followed by a double to left field by Duhon. A single by Roessner put runners on the corners. Tiffany Shaw, pinch running for Roessner, then stole second to put two in scoring position. A double to left center by senior Erika Sluss scored Duhon and Roessner. After Hollis was hit by a pitch, Jessica Mouse attempted the sacrifice bunt, but the throw from the pitcher sailed into right field and allowed Sluss to score from second for the 4-0 lead.
The Lady’Backs responded with five runs of its own to take the lead in the top of the fifth. Robison led off the inning with a single. With one out, Bachkora reached on an infield single that sent Robison to second. A comebacker to Garcia went in and out of her glove, allowing Kayla Johnson to reach on the error and load the bases. A walk by Dixon scored the first run for Arkansas. Smith then doubled down the left field line to score Bachkora and Johnson to put the Lady’Backs within one, 4-3.
Faile then came on in relief and struck out Whitney Cloer for the second out of the inning. A single to left field by Dayna Huckabee scored pinch runners Brandy Baze and Brandy Foust to give Arkansas its first lead of the day. Faile then retired the next six batters to send the game to the seventh.
Dixon led off the inning with a double, but Faile came through with three-straight outs, including a strikeout of Huckabee, to end the inning and keep the Tigers within one, 5-4.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Mitchell drew a walk. She moved to third on a two-out single to right field by Roessner. Henry was then called for an illegal pitch, which scored Mitchell from third to tie the game. In the rain, Henry went to the rosin bag and directly put her hand on the ball to pitch, which is not allowed. Third base umpire Jana Tidwell called it illegal immediately and before Henry had even begun her wind up.
With the game tied in the eighth, Robison hit a one-out home run over the fence in left field to put Arkansas ahead once again, 6-5. Trahan then came on in relief of Faile and got the second out. Unfortunately, the rain wreaked havoc on her pitches, resulting in back-to-back walks and a hit by pitch to load the bases for the Lady’Backs. Jackson then came through with her grand slam-saving catch for the third out of the inning.
Tayl’r Hollis drew a walk to start the bottom half of the inning. Mouse then reached on a bunt base hit that put the tying run on second and the winning run on first. A perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Jackson moved both runners into scoring position. After a shallow fly out to center by Faile put the Tigers down to their final out, Stein came through with the full count home run off the SEC Champions sign in left field. It marked the second walk-off hit for Stein this season; who came off the bench to provide a walk-off single to defeat Troy in 11 innings at Tiger Park earlier this year.
LSU will now go for the series sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game is scheduled to be broadcast on Cox Sports Television in Baton Rouge on cable channel 37. The game will be the final regular season contest in Tiger Park history as LSU will host the SEC Tournament and possibly an NCAA Regional and Super Regional before moving to the new Tiger Park next season.
Arkansas 000 000 0 – 0 4 0
LSU 100 003 – x 4 8 0
Kay Henry, Layne McGuirt (6) and Whitney Cloer. Cody Trahan and Killian Roessner. WP ? Trahan (13-4). LP ?Henry (16-11). S ? None. HR ? Quinlan Duhon, Killian Roessner. T ? 1:47.
Arkansas 000 050 01 – 6 8 1
LSU 000 400 13 – 8 9 1
Miranda Dixon, Layne McGuirt (4), Katy Henry (4) and Whitney Cloer. Tiffany Garcia, Casey Faile (5), Cody Trahan (8) and Killian Roessner. WP ? Trahan (14-4). LP ? Henry (16-12). S ? None. HR ? Brittany Robison, Shannon Stein. T ? 2:29. A ? 1107.