Langoni, Softball Steamroll Arkansas, 8-0
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ashley Langoni turned in a 3-for-4 performance and racked up a career-best five RBIs to fuel the LSU softball team to its fourth consecutive victory and an 8-0 victory over Arkansas Friday to open a SEC series at Bogle Park.
The Tigers (19-12, 3-6 SEC) also received a four-hit shutout from Rachele Fico in the circle. She notched five strikeouts and sat down 10 of the final 11 batters she faced to improve to 6-8 on the season.
LSU’s offense pounded out a balanced 10-hit attack as the top six batters in the lineup each recorded a hit. Tammy Wray came away with a 2-for-3 effort and added three RBIs.
“It was a great effort by the Tigers,” head coach Yvette Girouard said. “We hit the ball hard tonight, and Ashley Langoni is really seeing everything well right now. It’s fantastic to see that confident stroke back for her in a big way. I thought Tammy Wray was excellent all the way around, and made some tremendous plays at third base. Rachele is still on her way back. It’s a work in progress, but she’s taking the necessary steps right now to be successful.”
With one out in the third inning, Simone Heyward reached base on a fielding error by Arkansas second baseman Jennifer Rambo. Juliana Santos followed with a double off the left centerfield fence to put runners on second and third base.
Langoni platted both runs on a single past a diving Rambo into right centerfield to extend her hitting streak to a career-long seven games.
LSU used some two-out lightning to break the game open during the fourth inning. Heyward and Santos pieced together a single and a walk before Langoni connected for a three-run homer to make it 5-0.
“We came out with a few jitters after being off for so long, but we did what we need to do,” Langoni said. “I’ve been seeing the ball really well, it feels good. I’m just going to continue to do what I’ve been doing at the plate.”
Wray ripped a three-run long ball of her own in the seventh inning for the final margin of 8-0. During the frame, Katie Guillory also made her season-debut as a pinch runner.
“This is a huge series for us, and we need to be successful for the entire weekend,” Girouard said. “We dug a big hole early in SEC play and have to climb out of it. This was a good start to the weekend.”
The middle game of the three-game slate is on-tap for Saturday at 1 p.m. and will be televised on CST with Matt Stewart and Cheri Kempf. Fans also can follow the action live on ESPN 104.5 FM in the Baton Rouge area with Patrick Wright and Matt Dunaway on the call.
Live audio and live stats also are available in the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net along with in-game updates via the program’s social media pages at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball and www.Twitter.com/LSU_Softball.