No. 23 LSU tops No. 3 Washington
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Heading to California, the No. 23 LSU Tiger softball team was hoping to get a signature win with three ranked opponents on the docket for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic that began Thursday.
LSU didn’t even wait a day for that to happen as the Tigers scored six runs on 10 hits to defeat No. 3-ranked Washington 6-3 in Palm Springs.
Coming into the game with zero wins against ranked opponents, LSU (10-4) pieced together one of its strongest games of the season to topple the previously unbeaten Huskies (11-1). The win gave the Lady Tigers a win against a team ranked in the top five since sweeping then-fourth ranked Alabama to end last season.
With power and speed matched up against the pitching and small-ball approach, LSU’s power won the day as the Tigers got three home runs and a double among its 10 hits. Eight different LSU batters earned a hit, including the top five batters who all garnered at least one against Washington.
For the third time this season and 21st time in team history, Tiger teammates went back-to-back with home runs, as Allison Falcon and Tammy Wray both blasted shots over the fence to help the LSU charge. Wray finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored. Jacee Blades was the only other player with two hits, going 2-for-4, while Kellsi Kloss hit her second home run of the day against Washington, finishing the night driving in two and scoring once.
Senior Ashley Czechner went the distance and allowed three runs — two earned — on seven hits with five walks and five strikeouts, outdueling All-American Kaitlin Inglesby. Inglesby surrendered six runs — five earned — in seven innings with just three strikeouts. Coming into the game, Inglesby had given up just one run in 21 previous innings of work.
In the top of the third with the bases loaded and one out, Sandra Simmons laced a hard chopper through the infield to score two, putting LSU on top 2-0.
After Bianca Bell got on with an error to re-load the bases, a fielder’s choice forced A.J. Andrews out at home, but on the double play throw out attempt, Simmons scored to make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the third, Washington plated its first run on an RBI-single by Victoria Heyward, while they added another in the inning via a sacrifice fly.
With the offense starting to run for both teams, the Tigers went off in the fourth as Falcon and Wray connected on back-to-back home runs for a 5-2 advantage.
In the top of the fifth, Kloss connected on a 2-2 pitch for a home run and a 6-2 LSU advantage.
Washington plated a run in the bottom of the seventh for the final.
No. 23 LSU 13,
Long Beach State 0 (5 innings)
LSU opened the 2014 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic by cruising past the Long Beach State 49’ers 13-0 in five innings.
The Lady Tigers exploded for nine runs in the fifth inning, including four RBIs from Kloss in the frame.
The Tigers (9-4) produced 12 hits, getting six in the fifth, as LBSU (6-5) used five pitchers who combined to strike out one Tiger batter and walk eight. It was the third time in the last three games that LSU has accumulated at least 12 hits in a contest.
Nine Tigers produced at least one hit in the game, led by Kloss who went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, a double and a home run. Bell went 2-for-2 with an RBI and three runs scored, hitting another home run for the second time in three games. The last two hits went to Andrews who finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a stolen base.
Sahvanna Jaquish drove in three with just one hit against Long Beach State, while Kailey McCasland came on in the fifth and drove in a run on her only hit.
Baylee Corbello (4-2) earned her third complete-game shutout this season, holding the 49’ers to just two hits with a walk and six strikeouts in another dominating performance in the circle. The freshman needed just 77 pitches to work through the Long Beach State lineup in the game.
LSU took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first after a sacrifice fly by Jaquish and a wild pitch.
The Tigers added a run in the top of the third via a Bell home run to left field, while Andrews’ RBI-single to centerfield scored Bailey Landry in the fourth inning for a 5-0 LSU lead.
LSU exploded for nine runs and six hits in the top of the fifth inning, leading to two different pitching changes for the 49’ers in the frame alone.
The big bat came from Kloss who had four RBIs in the inning via a double before capping the LSU scoring with a three-run home run for the 13-0 advantage.