Mack, Softball Complete Sweep of No. 1 Alabama
BATON ROUGE – Brittany Mack fired a two-hit shutout and racked up nine strikeouts as the LSU softball team notched a 2-0 victory to complete a weekend sweep over No. 1 Alabama Sunday in-front of 1,865 fans at Tiger Park.
LSU (25-12, 8-6 SEC) ran its season-long winning streak to 10 games and wrapped up its first three-game sweep over the Crimson Tide (37-5, 12-4 SEC) since the 2004 season.
“Brittany Mack has finally matured. I have said before that she has all the potential to be an All-American pitcher and now it’s starting to show,” head coach Yvette Girouard said. “I just wanted us to play well this weekend. That’s all any coach can ask of their team is to play well. I knew if we pitched well, we had a chance.”
Alabama filled the bases in the first inning aided by a Tammy Wray fielding error along with a pair of walks. Mack battled back and got Kaila Hunt to strike out to wiggle out of trouble. She rode that momentum to sit down 14 consecutive Bama batters fueled by seven Ks.
LSU scratched out two runs in the fourth inning. With one out, Ashley Langoni reached base on a throwing error by Tide second baseman Jackey Branham. After Wray and Lauren Houston were hit-by-pitches to load the bases, Heidi Pizer drew a walk for the game’s first run.
Pinch hitter Morgan Russell tacked on an insurance run with a RBI groundout to make it 2-0. That would be more than enough support for Mack, who limited the high-octane Crimson Tide attack to only five base runners for the game. She improved to 10-3 on the season.
Alabama’s Jackie Traina was tagged with the loss to drop to 14-3. She surrendered two unearned runs during her 3 1/3 frames of work.
“We had a rocky start to the SEC season, but now we’re finally on the right track,” Mack said. “Pitching these long and tight games gave my confidence level a huge boost. Anything can happen, and I can go as far as I can. My off-speed curve really helped me this weekend.”
The three-game attendance total was 5,931, a program record for a SEC weekend series.
“I’m very proud of our team and the overall weekend,” Girouard said. “The fans were amazing. They’re a huge factor in our games. I want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the Tigers.”
LSU steps out of SEC action Wednesday at McNeese State. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. in Lake Charles.
Softball Postgame Quotes
LSU vs. No. 1 Alabama
April 10, 2011
Head Coach Yvette Girouard
On the series…
“I just wanted us to play well this weekend. That’s all any coach can ask of their team is to play well. I knew if we pitched well, we had a chance. We just had to find a way to get on-base and make something happen.”
On getting on base…
“We want Anissa Young to swing the bat, but she’s getting hit a lot. When it’s a game like this, you need to do anything you can to get on-base. If that means getting hit then you have to get hit.”
On Brittany Mack…
“Brittany Mack has finally matured. I have said before that she has all the potential to be an All-American pitcher and now it’s starting to show. We’ve been concerned with her injuries over the past two seasons, but we’ve changed her mechanics and brought her along slowly. So far it has worked for her, and she feels great pitching.”
On Alabama Softball…
“I care about Alabama Softball. Two of my own are on that staff, Patrick Murphy and Alyson Halbetz. They’re a great program with a lot of class. I had a feeling that Alabama would do something for me, but I had no idea it would be that classy.”
On what to improve…
“There’s always something we need to get better at. We obviously had no hits today, so that is something our coaching staff will work closely with our players on this week.”
On the weekend…
“Overall, it was a great weekend. I’m very proud of our team and the overall weekend. The fans were amazing. They’re a huge factor in our games. I want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the Tigers.”
Pitcher Brittany Mack
On pitching …
“My shoulder felt great all weekend long. All I had on my mind today was come out and throw how I threw on Friday to get the last win of the series. Coach Girouard made sure I was well rested for today’s game by not letting me get anywhere close to the bullpen yesterday.”
On the fans…
“The fans were amazing, and I just loved the atmosphere. I want to thank everybody for coming out and helping us beat Alabama.”
On a boost to her confidence…
“We had a rocky start the SEC season, but now we’re finally on the right track. Pitching these long and tight games gave my confidence level a huge boost. Anything can happen, and I can go as far as I can. My off-speed curve really helped me this weekend.”