Garcia Tosses One-Hitter in Softball Shutout of SLU
HAMMOND, La. — Senior Tiffany Garcia threw a one hitter as the 15th-ranked LSU softball team shut out Southeastern Louisiana, 5-0, on Wednesday evening at North Oak Park.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 39-14 on the season as LSU completed the season sweep of the Lions (27-24) after a 7-0 shutout win earlier this year in Baton Rouge. The win also avenges the Tigers’ loss to Southeastern last season in Hammond, the only loss LSU has suffered to the Lions in 12 meetings.
Garcia earned the complete-game win to improve to 3-2 on the season. Giving up only a lone single in the sixth inning, the hurler walked three and struck out five. Only one Southeastern player reached second in the game and that came on after a sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning.
“Tiffany Garcia giving us the complete game is really important for us,” said LSU head coach Yvette Girouard. “It gave Cody Trahan some rest since she had to throw three times last weekend.”
Sophomore Rachel Mitchell continued her hot streak at the plate with a 1-for-2 performance and two RBIs. The outfielder extended her hitting streak to seven-straight games and improved her team-best RBI total to 46. Jazz Jackson went 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Jessica Mouse hit her fourth home run of the season.
“I saw some good things tonight, but what I like about the team right now is that other people are starting to step up,” said Girouard. “Jess Mouse is starting to hit the ball right now and if we ever get her bat going, she can be an All-American. Rachel Mitchell is still on a fire. We have her in there to swing and usually when she swings, good things happen.”
In the top of the third inning, LSU got on the board for the early lead. Jackson led off with an infield single. She moved to second on a ground out by Dee Dee Henderson. On a single to center field by Shannon Stein, Jackson advanced to third. Stein then took second on an error by the Lion first baseman.
Mitchell then came just short of her 11th home run of the season on a hard hit ball to right field, but unfortunately the wind kept the ball in the park. However, because the ball was hit so deep, Jackson was able to score on the Mitchell sacrifice fly.
A heads up play by Erika Sluss led directly to the second Tiger run. With one out in the fourth, Sluss reached on a single down the left field line. On an infield ground out by Tayl’r Hollis, both the third baseman and shortstop made a play on the ball, pulling both away from third and allowing Sluss to advance around to third on the play. Sluss then scored on a wild pitch by Rachel Ray for the 2-0 LSU advantage.
The Tigers added two more in the top of the fifth. Henderson reached on a one-out single and immediately stole second. With two outs, Mitchell extended her hitting streak to seven games with an RBI single before advance to second on the play. Quinlan Duhon then doubled to left center, extending her hitting streak to six games and scoring Mitchell from second. It was the 34th double of Duhon’s career and moved her into the top 10 in career doubles in LSU history.
In the top of the sixth, the Tigers made it four straight innings on the scoreboard as LSU stretched the lead to 5-0. With two outs, Mouse hit her fourth home run of the season on a 1-0 pitch to left field.
Garcia’s bid for the no hitter was ended with a single with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Katie Duhe reached on a single that was just out of the reach of Hollis at shortstop. Brooke Lockhart then reached first on a fielder’s choice as Duhe was out at second. Heather Sherrill ended the inning with a ground out to first base to end the inning.
Rachel Ray started and took the loss to fall to 15-14 on the season. She allowed four runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts in four and two-thirds innings. Jenna Yoder came on in relief and gave up a run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in the final two and a third.
LSU will close out the regular season on the road this weekend. The Tigers will travel to South Carolina for a three-game Southeastern Conference series. With a series sweep, LSU can clinch the third spot in the league tournament in Baton Rouge next weekend. The pair will face off in a doubleheader on Saturday at noon CDT and conclude the series with a single game on Sunday at noon CDT.
LSU 001 121 0 – 5 9 1
SLU 000 000 0 – 0 1 1
Tiffany Garcia and Killian Roessner. Rachel Ray, Jenna Yoder (5) and Allyson McCubbins. WP ? Garcia (3-2). LP ? Ray (15-14). S ? None. HR ? Jessica Mouse. T ? 1:54. A ? 567.