LSU Run-Rules Fordham in Five Innings, 9-0
BATON ROUGE — The LSU softball team run-ruled the Fordham Rams, 9-0, in five innings to begin the NCAA Tournament on Friday night in Tiger Park. With the win, LSU improves to 42-14 while Fordham falls 33-22.
In the next inning, Becca Schulte got the scoring going with a sacrifice bunt that the Fordham pitcher threw away to score Shelbi Sunseri. Later Andrews would hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Amber Serrett, giving LSU the 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, Shelbi Sunseri hit a solo homerun to further extend LSU’s lead to 7-0.
LSU was able to put two more runs on the board after Andrews scored on a throwing error, and Doyle drove in Antoine on a fielder’s choice to give LSU the 9-0 advantage in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Maribeth Gorsuch was sensational in the circle, going four innings, striking out six and picking up her ninth win of the season.
Carley Hoover came in relief to close out the game for the Tigers, tallying three strike outs in her only inning of work.
TORINA: We asked them to come out fast and we asked them to come out and set a tone for this regional and I think they did what we asked them to do. Got a great performance on the mound from Maribeth Gorsuch. I think it’s a tough game to pitch, a lot of nerves and jitters just from the team, starting the postseason, and she was able to calm that down, quiet that and let our offense to go to work and able to start fast with Aliyah (Andrews) in her first at-bat. So I thought they did exactly what they needed to do, came out of the gate the way they did and they were able to put on a strong performance to set a tone for this regional.
Q. MARIBETH, TODAY WITH THE RAIN DELAY AND SITTING AROUND AND WAITING FOR A BIG MOMENT FOR YOU, HOW DID YOU STAY FOCUSED AND GET READY FOR THE GAME?
GORSUCH: All week, since we found out we were hosting a regional and the teams that were in it, we were pretty excited all week. When the rain delay hit, we were pretty antsy about it, but just hung out and kept our cool, and when it was time to play, we came out and did what we were supposed to do.
Q. ALIYAH, STARTING IT OFF, THEY HAD A LOT OF MISCUES, OBVIOUSLY AND YOU GUYS PRESSURED THEM A LOT WITH YOUR SPEED AND AGGRESSIVENESS. HOW MUCH DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAUSED THOSE MISCUES VERSUS THINGS THAT THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO DO ON THEIR END?
ANDREWS: I think it was big that we all focused on our strengths and one of my strengths is being able to get on base and use my speed and I like being a sparkplug. So I think using my speed and finding a way to get on base helped our team. It just so happened they made some miscues that we capitalized on but it helped that we did our jobs and we were able to get on base.
Q. MARIBETH, YOU AND (CARLEY) HOOVER COMBINED FOR NINE STRIKEOUTS AND SHE CAME IN AT THE END TO GET THOSE THREE STRIKEOUTS. WHAT WAS THE GOAL IN PITCHING – HOW DID Y’ALL EXCEL TODAY?
GORSUCH: Well, I went out there and just threw what my coach called and what we planned for all week, and Carley worked really hard to get back to playing softball and pitching and she did that really well tonight.
Q. WITH SHELBI HITTING A HOME RUN WITH EVERYTHING GOING ON WITH HER, HOW SPECIAL TO SEE HER GET THAT MOMENT?
TORINA: Yeah, I think she could have acted very differently but instead she just really tried to stay focused on her job at hand. I know she’s very emotional about it and very concerned, but I think she understood she had a job to do today and she was able to stay focused on it. Probably having the job today helped get her mind off of it a little bit, so I think it was a good day for us to be playing softball.
Q. HOW DID YOU THINK CARLEY LOOKED FIRST TIME BACK?
TORINA: Yeah, I thought she looked good. I thought it was important to get her out there today. She hadn’t been on the mound in a couple weeks. I just wanted her to be able to get her feet wet a little bit, get comfortable again, make sure our catcher is comfortable with her again and just, you know, let’s make sure that she’s healthy and good and let her feel good. I think we accomplished that really well tonight. I thought we got the performance we needed out of Maribeth and we were able to get Carley the inning she needed. I felt like we did a lot of productive things tonight.
Q. YOU HIT ON IT IN KIND OF THE OPEN, BUT TO COME OUT AND NOT ONLY GET A WIN, BUT TO DO SO REALLY EFFICIENTLY, A LOT OF PEOPLE INVOLVED, HOW BIG IS THAT JUST TO START THE WEEKEND WITH ALL THAT HAPPENING?
TORINA: Yeah, I think it’s big. You know, we talked a lot about trying to set a tone for the entire regional. We talked about trying to start fast and trying to let our offense show up and let any questions that might be out there be taken care of, you know. So we wanted to make sure we did that and I thought they did a great job of that. I thought right from the first three outs, Maribeth was able to get and then hand it over to the offense; Aliyah’s first at-bat was phenomenal, exactly what we needed to get this thing going.
Q. SHORT TURNAROUND TOMORROW. HOW WILL YOU HANDLE PLAYING AT NOON?
TORINA: Yeah, it’s tough with the rain delay. Definitely shortened night, shortened rest, but this team is very resilient and very tough. They have been in spots like this before. We do a lot of things throughout the season to challenge them and to make them comfortable being uncomfortable. This is going to be another situation where they are going to be uncomfortable but I know they want the game and I know they are excited to play, so I know they will be ready whenever we tell them to be here.
>> LSU had eight steals on the night, setting a new team high for the season and the most in program history for an NCAA Tournament game.
>> With the win, LSU is now 72-43 in the NCAA Tournament, and 52-25 in NCAA regionals.
>> It is the sixth-straight season that the Tigers opened the NCAA Tournament with a win.
>> Sunseri’s homerun gives her seven on the year.
>> LSU had seven hits on the night, with Andrew and Sunseri leading the charge with two apiece. Griggs, Doyle, and Serrett each had one.
Next up, LSU will take on Houston on Saturday, May 19th at noon in Tiger Park. The game will air on WatchESPN.
For all of the latest news and information on Tiger softball, visit www.lsusports.net/softball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball along with @lsusoftball and @BethTorina on Twitter and @lsusoftball on Instagram.