Big Innings Give Softball Historic Victories
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – On the last day of play and getting an early start with one of the opening games of the day, the LSU softball team made history at the Big League Dreams Complex as the Tigers defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 10-2 in five innings to lay claim to the best start in program history in running its streak to 15-straight season-opening victories.
After tying the record yesterday with a big win over No. 13 Arizona, the Tigers exploded in the first inning scoring all 10 of its runs in the very first inning to put the game away for good and held off the Huskers (5-7) to earn the run-rule victory early Saturday.
Most interestingly, the Tigers scored double digit runs on just five hits, led by Bianka Bell who had two of those hits, going 2-for-3, including hitting a three-run home run to account for four RBIs and two runs scored. It was her sixth of the season and her 32nd of her career, tying her with Leslie Klein and one away from Rachel Mitchell’s all-time record of 33.
Allie Walljasper (6-0) continued her hot streak to start her career, allowing just two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks, needing 74 pitches to earn the victory.
Kaylan Jablonski (0-3) suffered the loss for Nebraska, pitching only 0.2 of the first inning, allowing all of LSU’s runs and hits, while her replacement in Cassie McClure pitched the next 4.1and gave up nothing striking out three. Kiki Stokes had three of the Huskers’ five hits, including becoming the first player in over a year to earn a triple off of LSU pitching after not giving up any last year.
A.J. Andrews opened the game with a walk, and then stole second to get into scoring position for the Tigers in the first. Landry earned a walk to put two on for LSU, as Bell ripped a shot through the left side to score Andrews to make it 1-0 LSU. With the runners now on second and third, Sahvanna Jaquish hit a deep enough fly to right to drive in Landry on the sacrifice fly to make it 2-0, with Bell now at third.
She scored on the very next play as Kloss earned an infield single to score the LSU shortstop to put the Tigers up three early. Kloss moved to second after a walk to Sandra Simmons put two back on for the Tigers, as an infield popup was the second out of the frame. Quinn connected on a shot to right to score Kloss from second, with her and Simmons moving to second and third on the play now with a 4-0 lead.
A wild pitch scored Simmons from third to make it 5-0, as a walk to Emily Griggs put runners at the corners, as a walk to Andrews for her second at-bat of the inning loaded the bases again for the Tigers. Landry in her second time at the plate in the inning ripped a single through the left side to score Quinn and Griggs to make it 7-0 LSU. The onslaught continued as Bell went to a full count before blasting one over the right field fence for the home run to make it 10-0 LSU.
Nebraska broke its scoring drought in the bottom of the third inning, as a single and a triple brought the run around to score to make it 10-1, earning another in that same inning to cut the lead to eight after an RBI single for the final run for either side in the contest.
Game 2: LSU 10, Northwestern 0 (5 Innings)
In the final game of the 2015 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic for the LSU softball team, the Tigers exploded for another big inning to stifle an opponent early and keep its foot on the gas in a 10-0 win over the Northwestern Wildcats in five innings Saturday afternoon in Palm Springs.
After putting up 10 in the first inning earlier in the day against Nebraska, LSU (16-0) waited an inning and exploded for eight in the second, getting runs in the third and fourth to go up double-digits and hold off the Wildcats (3-9) for good to earn another run-rule victory at the classic.
Six different LSU players earned hits on the afternoon, paced by Sahvanna Jaquish who hit her sixth home run of the season in a 2-for-3 afternoon with two RBIs and two runs scored. Sandra Simmons went 2-for-2 with an RBI, while Constance Quinn went 2-for-2 with a double, RBI and two runs scored. Bailey Landry had one hit, but had three RBIs, while Bianka Bell had two RBIs with a run scored.
Starting pitcher Kelsee Selman (3-0) earned another complete game victory and the shutout by scattering three hits in five innings with seven strikeouts and only three walks.
NU’s Amy Letourneau (1-7) suffered the loss after seven runs on five hits with three walks in 1.2 innings of work. Kristen Wood came on in relief and gave up the other three runs on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
In the bottom of the second with one out, Kellsi Kloss drew a walk to take first. On the next play Simmons earned an infield single and an errant throw to first allowed the two to move to second and third. Kailey McCasland drew a walk to load the bases for LSU, as Quinn connected on a single to score Kloss, but Simmons was thrown out at the plate for the second out with LSU going up 1-0.
With runners at second and third, Emily Griggs ripped a single through the left side to score McCasland to make it 2-0. Griggs stole second to put two back in scoring position, as a walk to A.J. Andrews loaded the bases. Landry came through again with a two RBI single to make it 4-0 LSU. She stole second for another two-on scoring opportunity for the Tigers, as Bell brought both in on a scorched double down the left field line to make it 6-0.
After a pitching change for the Wildcats, Jaquish earned a triple to right to score Bell and make it 7-0 LSU. After a walk to Kloss to put runners at the corners, Simmons plated the final run on an RBI single to left, scoring Jaquish to make it 8-0 Tigers.
In the bottom of the third, Quinn led off the inning with a crushed double to the gap in left center, advancing to third after a Griggs infield grounder. A walk to Andrews and a stolen base put two in scoring position for LSU, as Landry hit a deep enough fly to center to allow Quinn to score to make it 9-0 LSU.
In the bottom of the fourth, Jaquish blew the doors off the first pitch of the inning and shot it over the left field fence to put the Tigers up 10-0.
LSU will be back in action next week, hosting the 2015 Purple and Gold Challenge at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge.
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