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    Sunday Softball Scoreboard

    Softball RESULTS
    Portland State 5, Kentucky 3
    Alabama 10, North Dakotas State 0
    Florida 14, Arizona 3
    South Carolina 12, Michigan State 5
    Arkansas 5, Utah 1
    Auburn 8, Army 0
    Georgia 5, Winthrop 3
    North Carolina 3, LSU 1
    Kentucky 3, Stanford 1
    Auburn 9, Austin Peay 1


    Tennessee's Game WIth Oklahoma State Cancelled 

    ST. GEORGE, Utah - Sunday's softball game between No. 6/5 Tennessee and Oklahoma State in the Red Desert Classic has been canceled due to frigid dropping temperatures in the St. George, Utah, area. 
     
    At the 9 a.m. MT warm-up time the field temperature was 37 degrees with a wind chill of 32 degrees. Forecasts showed the temperatures would continue to drop by game time. Both Tennessee co-head coaches Ralph Weekly and Karen Weekly and Oklahoma State head coach Rich Wieligman and the Red Desert Classic tournament director agreed to cancel Sunday's game. 
     
    The Lady Vols are 5-0 to start the 2013 season following victories over Southern Utah, Idaho State, Utah State, South Dakota and BYU this week at the Canyons Complex. The team is hitting .424 through the first five games of the season and UT outscored opponents, 53-8. Tennessee pitchers combined for 1.93 ERA and 31 strikeouts over 29 innings. Junior Ellen Renfroe threw her second career no-hitter in a 10-0, five-inning win over Utah State on Friday. 
     
    Tennessee and Oklahoma State will look into rescheduling their matchup for a later date. 
     
    Tennessee will be back in action next week when the Lady Vols head to Tampa, Fla., to play in the USF 4 Team Tournament from Feb. 15-17. UT will play North Carolina State and Coastal Carolina on Feb. 15. The Lady Vols will face tournament host No. 12/10 USF on Feb. 16 followed by a semifinal game and either a finals game or consolation game on Feb. 17. 



    Alabama Blanks N.D. State

    CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The top-ranked Alabama softball team claimed its first tournament championship of the season as it downed North Dakota State, 10-0, Sunday morning to secure the UNI-Dome Classic title. With the victory the Crimson Tide starts the season 5-0.
     
    UA banged out 12 hits and smashed four home runs on the day. Freshmen Haylie McCleney and Kallie Case along with sophomore Danae Hays each tallied three hits in the win.
     
    Junior Jackie Traina improved to 3-0 on the season after tossing the five-inning shutout. The All-American allowed four hits and struck out eight while walking one.
     
    Alabama scored a run in the bottom of the first to start things off. McCleney collected her 11th hit of the tournament when she doubled to left. Then after a stolen base and a passed ball, she scored on a Kaila Hunt sac-fly to right-center.
     
    After making a run-saving diving grab in the top of the third, McCleney led off the bottom half with a home run that caromed off the top of the wall in center and over to give the Tide a 2-0 lead. The scoring continued in the frame after a Kayla Braud walk, Hunt destroyed a home run well over the wall in left to push the score to 4-0.
     
    McCleney once again got the Tide on the scoreboard. With two outs in the fourth, the rookie reached on a bunt single, stole second and then scored on a Braud single to center to give Bama a 5-0 lead.
     
    A two-run shot in the fifth by sophomore Danae Hays gave the Tide a 7-0 lead. Freshman Kallie Case collected her third hit of the contest before Hays pulverized her first home run of the season over the wall in deep left-center.
     
    Senior Keima Davis ended the game with a three-run homer to cap off the tournament with a 10-0 win. On the weekend Davis hit a grand slam and two three-run homers.
     
    McCleney led an impressive weekend from the Bama rookies. The Morris, Ala., native hit .722 (13-for-18) with nine runs, two doubles, a triple, two home runs, four RBI and five stolen bases. The four freshmen combined to hit .622 (23-for-37) with 11 stolen bases and 17 runs.
     
    On the weekend the Tide hit .384 with nine home runs and added 20 stolen bases. UA outscored its opponents 43-12.
     
    Alabama will open the home portion of its home schedule when it faces instate foe South Alabama. The two teams will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m.



    South Carolina Picks Up Fourth Win of the Weekend

    DELAND, Fla. - South Carolina (4-0) completed an opening-weekend sweep, besting Michigan State (1-3) 12-5 on Sunday afternoon at Patricia Wilson Field to close the 2013 Stetson Lead-Off Classic.
     
    Four Gamecocks had two hits, and four also had two runs. Juniors Ashlyn Masters and Chelsea Hawkins and sophomore Kristen Struett combined to do both, while senior catcher Shelby Gonzales and junior third baseman Codee Yeske both drove in two. Senior shortstop Samie Garcia had a triple while Hawkins added a homer in the win.
     
    Sarah Bowling went 2-for-4 with a three-RBI double for Michigan State, while centerfielder Kylene Hopkins also went 2-for-4.
     
    Hawkins started the Gamecock scoring in the second, hitting the 2-2 pitch over the center-field wall for her first homer of the year. Five more runs crossed in the third as the Gamecocks posted five-consecutive singles in the frame. Garcia scored first on Hathorn's RBI single after walking, stealing second and moving to third on freshman left fielder Alaynie Page's ground out. Following Hathorn with singles were Masters, Hawkins, Struett and redshirt sophomore first baseman Julie Sarratt, the last two driving in a run. After a strikeout, Yeske sent one back through the middle, plating two runs to make it 6-0. 
     
    Garcia scored in the fourth on a Spartan error after starting the frame with a triple. The Gamecock bats would be quiet for the next inning for exploding for four runs in the sixth. South Carolina loaded the bases with one out before another Spartan error allowed two runs to score. Gonzales followed with her first hit of the year, a two-run single to right, to make it 11-0.
     
    Michigan State answered in the bottom of the sixth, posting five runs on the board. Bowling came up with the bases loaded and cleared them with her scorcher down the left-field line. After a foul out, Ellie Stoffer doubled to right to bring Bowling home and make it 11-4. The fifth run crossed when Carly Nielsen doubled to right center, plating Stoffer.
     
    The Gamecocks got one run back in the seventh when Masters sent a ball to deep left center that Hopkins caught against wall, scoring Page from third.
     
    Redshirt senior Audrey Broyles (2-0) picked up the win, tossing 5.2 innings and giving up five runs, two earned, on four hits while striking out four. Cassee Layne (0-1) took the loss, allowing six earned runs on eight hits and a walk in three innings. She fanned two.
     
    All nine Gamecock starting hitters picked up hits in the contest as well as freshman pinch hitter Lauren Masters, her first career single. Garcia and Page earned placement on the all-tournament team.
     
    South Carolina returns to the Sunshine State for next weekend's UCF Holiday Inn Select Tournament in Orlando. The Gamecocks open the event on Friday night against Florida A&M at 4:30 p.m. EST.



    Arkansas Moves to 5-0 for First Time Ever

    St. George, Utah – The University of Arkansas softball team topped the Utah Utes on Sunday, 5-1 at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah.
     
    Arkansas finished the Red Desert Classic with a perfect five wins and zero loses. This is the first time in Arkansas softball history that a team has started 5-0. Previously, the best start for the Hogs was 4-1 in 2012. Leading the way for the Razorbacks on Sunday was senior Chelsea Cohen and freshman Stephanie Canfield. Head coach Mike Larabee was excited to post the best five game start in school history.
     
    “Utah is a scrappy ball club.” Larabee said. “This was a great win. Our goal was to come out here and win five games and we did that.”
     
    Cohen went through the first 3.1 innings without allowing a hit. She allowed three walks in the first three innings but settled in and regained control in the final four. Cohen finished the game allowing only one run with six strikeouts and allowed four hits. Larabaee was happy with the performance of his senior.  
     
    “She really battled,” Larabee said. “You aren’t always going to have your best stuff, but she really grinded it out today. Her changeup was working great today.”
     
    The Arkansas offense was paced by Canfield. She went 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBI. The newcomer went 12-for-21 in her first five games as a Razorback with five RBI, two triples and three runs scored. Larabee was ecstatic about his freshman’s performance after the game.
     
    “She is such a complete player,” Larabee said. “Both offensively and defensively, she is a magician with the bat. She is the true triple-threat that you love to coach.”
     
    After two scoreless innings, Arkansas jumped on the board in the third inning when Chloe Oprzedek hit her first homerun of the season over the leftfield fence. Oprzedek continued her hot start of the 2013 season versus Utah, going 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. She has now hit .538 through the first five games of the season.
     
    The scoring continued in the top of the fifth for the Razorbacks. Sierra Bronkey used a seven-pitch at bat and ripped a single down the rightfield line. Ashley Martindale came in to pinch run and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Oprzedek. Martindale then stole third base and scored when Canfield hit a two-run triple. Devon Wallace also scored on the play after walking. 
     
    The hits continued in the fifth inning as Clarisa Navarro lined a single up the middle that scored Canfield and gave Arkansas a four run lead. The Razorbacks scored three runs on four hits in the fifth.
     
    The Utes scored their first run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Chalese Fankhauser hit a towering ball into the outfield. The wind carried it over the fence for a homerun. The Razorback lead was cut to three at 4-1. 
     
    Arkansas added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Wallace scored on a wild pitch from pitcher Kayce Nieto. Wallace has now scored eight runs on the young season while batting .400. She also has drawn seven walks. 
    Cohen handled her half of the seventh, bouncing back from the homerun and retiring the Utes. The Razorbacks left St. George with their fifth win of the season.
     
    Next up, the Razorbacks will travel to Jackson, Miss. to take on the Jackson State Tigers in a doubleheader.  Game one is slated for Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. CT.



    Auburn Wins Two on Sunday

    Auburn, Ala. - The Auburn softball team completed a perfect weekend with a pair of wins in the final day of the Plainsman Invitational. Auburn defeated Army 8-0 in the first game and Austin Peay 9-1 in the last game of the day.
     
    Auburn improved to 5-0 and will next host Samford on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m.
     
    "This was a solid start to the season," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "I thought our pitching improved from Friday. Our offense was clicking and you could certainly see our team speed in play. Morgan Estell continues to have a good start to the season. We are running really well and getting hits when we need them."
     
    In game two, Branndi Melero drove in three runs to help lead the Tigers to a 9-1 win over Austin Peay.
     
    Hilary Mavromat (1-0) earned the complete-game win. Mavromat allowed one run, unearned, on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts in five innings of work.
     
    Morgan Brewer (1-2) started and took the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, in three innings.
     
    Auburn took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Morgan Estell opened the game with a triple off the wall in center and came in to score on a ground ball to second off the bat of Branndi Melero. Melero was safe as Laurel Burroughs booted the ball at second.
     
    Brooke Lathan followed with a ground ball that went through third baseman Niya Sparks' legs, but hit off her foot (an error) and rolled into foul territory down the line. Melero scored on the play giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. 
     
    Austin Peay responded in the bottom half of the first, pushing one run across. Marissa Lake walked to open the frame and advanced two bases when Caitlin Jordan failed to field a throw from shortstop on a ground ball by Jessica Ryan. With two outs in the inning, Kayla Davidson singled to left to plate Lake and make it 2-1.
     
    Auburn increased its lead to 5-1 in the top of the second inning, scoring every run with two outs. McKenzie Kilpatrick led off with a single to left and took second on a sac bunt by Tiffany Howard. With two outs, Melero laced a single to right that plated Kilpatrick. Lathan followed with single to center that scored Melero from first to give Auburn a 4-1 edge. Caitlin Jordan made it 5-1 with a single to center that scored Lathan from second.
     
    Kilpatrick gave Auburn a 6-1 lead with an RBI double in the top of the third. With one out, Mavromat singled and was lifted for pinch-runner Kristyn Richards. Kilpatrick followed with a double off the wall in left that scored Richards for a five-run cushion.
     
    Still in the third, Howard crushed a hard single through the right side to score Kilpatrick and extend the Auburn lead to 7-1.
     
    In the fifth inning, Howard reached on a fielder's choice and took second on a single to left by Estell. On the play, the left fielder dropped the ball attempting to field it, allowing the runners to advance. Melero followed with an RBI ground out to second, scoring Howard for an 8-1 lead. Lathan followed with a single to right to score Estell and make it a 9-1 game.
     
    Austin Peay failed to score in the bottom half of the fifth to end the game on the mercy rule.
     
    In game one, the Tigers scored eight runs on four hits as freshman pitcher Lexi Davis tossed a five-inning no-hitter against Army (2-3). Davis improved to 2-0, issuing four walks and striking out five.
     
    Morgan Lashley (1-3) took the loss for Army after allowing eight runs, all earned, on four hits with seven walks and three strikeouts in three and one-third innings of work.
     
    Auburn took the early lead, scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning. Morgan Estell drew a leadoff walk and beat the throw to second on a fielder's choice ground ball by Branndi Melero. A double steal put runners on third and second with no outs. A passed ball that skirted under the catcher and to the backstop brought Estell home for a 1-0 Auburn lead.
     
    With one out, a wild pitch moved Caitlin Schultze (walk) to second but Melero was unable to advance home on the play. Caitlin Jordan took ball four on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. On a 0-1 pitch, Emily Carosone ripped a grand slam over the wall in left to give Auburn a 5-0 lead. It was Carosone's second home run of the season.
     
    Auburn increased its lead in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Estell was hit by a pitch. Melero then hit a chopper to short, beating a late throw that sailed wide of the bag. Estell was able to score from second on the play as the ball rolled into foul territory, giving Auburn a 6-0 lead. Melero took second on the play and came in to score on a double to left by Brooke Lathan, making it 7-0.
     
    The Tigers made it 8-0 in the bottom of the fourth. Kristyn Richards drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on a single to right by Lathan. Richards went first to third on the single. As the relay throw went to third, Lathan went to second but was out on the play, Richards raced home during the play at second to score the Tigers' eighth run of the game.



    UGA Downs Winthrop

    ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 8/9 University of Georgia softball team handed the Winthrop Eagles a 5-3 loss on Sunday, Feb. 10, the final day of the Red and Black Showcase at Jack Turner Stadium. With the win, Georgia improves to 3-2 on the year, while Winthrop drops to 2-2. The Bulldogs finished with six hits, including a pair of doubles by Kaylee Puailoa and Geri Ann Glasco.
     
    Glasco earned the win to move to 2-0 on the year with her second complete game performance. Glasco allowed three runs on five hits hits and struck out eight for the win. Sutton Watson suffered the loss for the Eagles, giving up five runs, two of which were earned, on six hits. She also struck out two batters.
     
    Puailoa recorded Georgia's first hit of the day with a double deep to left center. She came around to score on a RBI-single to left center to give Georgia a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
     
    The Bulldogs tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third. Samantha LaZear laid down a bunt single, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt to put a runner at third for Paige Wilson. A Winthrop error put Wilson at first and scored LaZear to make it a 2-0 game. Wilson crossed the plate on a double off the bat of Glasco, extending the Bulldog lead to 3-0.
     
    Puailoa singled to right field to lead off the Georgia fourth. A pair of sac bunts moved Tiesha Reed, who came on to run for Puailoa, to third with two outs. Reed made it a 4-0 game when she scored on a passed ball.
     
    Winthrop got on the board in the top of sixth on a three-run homerun by Kathryn Eberlin. McKenzi Corn led off with a double down the left field line that was followed by a walk to Chelsey Schoenfeldt. Eberlin followed with a homerun off the scoreboard in left field that made it a 4-3 game. Glasco settled in to retire next three batters, including a pair of strikeouts.
     
    Wilson led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple off the wall in left center. With one away, Puailoa drove in Wilson on a sacrifice fly to left that allowed Georgia to extend its lead to 5-3.
     
    Georgia returns to Athens next weekend when it hosts the 10th-Annual Georgia Softball Classic, which features Northwestern, Middle Tennessee State and Campbell. The first game will get underway Friday, Feb. 15, with Georgia playing Campbell at 3 p.m., and Northwestern at 5:30 p.m.



    Kentucky Takes Care of Stanford

    TEMPE, Ariz. – After taking down No. 3-ranked California in its season opener two days ago, the University of Kentucky softball team continued its winning ways against ranked foes in day three of the Kajikawa Classic by taking down No. 20/21 Stanford 3-1 behind an excellent pitching effort from freshman hurler Kelsey Nunley. UK lost its first game of the day to Portland State. Both games were played at the Tempe Sports Complex in Tempe, Ariz. 
     
    Nunley was fantastic against Stanford, going all seven innings, allowing only four hits. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., allowed only one earned run in the contest, striking out eight, which was one off her career high of nine against Western Michigan on Friday. 
     
    Nunley is off to a great start in her first season with Kentucky. The true freshman is 3-0 on the year in four appearances, including two starts and two complete games. Nunley holds a 2.83 ERA in the circle, throwing 17.1 innings, allowing 19 hits, seven runs – all earned – while striking out 19. In her two starts, Nunley has gone 12 innings, giving up only eight hits and two earned runs while striking out 17.
     
    Kentucky (4-2) got a strong offensive showing in the win by senior leadoff hitter Kara Dill, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.  The co-captain set the table for several other Wildcats as senior outfielder Alice O’Brien went 2-for-3 with an RBI single and a run scored. Junior Emily Jolly came off the bench to go 2-for-2 for her first multi-hit game of the year, while freshman Nikki Sagermann went 1-for-3 with an RBI and Cumbess 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Infielder Krystal Smith was the only other Wildcat to post a hit in the game, going 1-for-2. 
     
    Sagermann leads the Wildcats in batting average after the first weekend of play, hitting .429 with a double and two RBI. Seniors Kara Dill and Alice O’Brien along with juniors Ginny Carroll and Lauren Cumbess are off to strong offensive starts. Dill is hitting .368 with seven hits, one double, five runs scored and an RBI, while O’Brien is hitting .400 with seven runs scored, two doubles and three RBI. Carroll leads the team in RBI with six while holding a .417 average, while Cumbess is hitting .368 with seven hits, one double and five RBI. 
     
    The victory over Stanford (4-2), who is ranked 20th by ESPN.com/USA Softball and 21st by USA Today/National Fastpitch Coach Association, was Kentucky’s 33rd win over a top-25 opponent under head coach Rachel Lawson. It was UK’s second of the young season after the Wildcats took down No. 3 Cal in the season opener 3-2. The win was also the first ever by Kentucky against Stanford in softball. Entering Sunday’s contest, the Cardinal were 4-0 against the Wildcats. 
     
    UK jumped on top of Stanford with a run in the first inning and never looked back. The inning started when Dill doubled down the left-field line. After Maisie Steed struck out for the first out of the inning, O’Brien hit a liner to right field for a single, scoring Dill. 
     
    Stanford would place its first batter of the game on base with an infield single, but would not collect another hit until the fifth outing due to impressive pitching from Nunley.
     
    UK would get its second run in the third inning with Dill once again getting things started with a leadoff hit. Dill would advance to second with one out after a nice sacrifice bunt by Steed and would later advance to third on the second hit of the game from O’Brien. Cumbess would collect an RBI on the next at bat, hitting a fly ball down the right-field line for a sacrifice fly and a 2-0 UK lead.
     
    UK’s third and final run was scored in the top of the fifth inning when O’Brien collected a leadoff walk, advancing to second on a wild pitch. After Cumbess struck out for the first out, Sagermann reentered the game as the designated player and hit a single that got past the diving shortstop, scoring O’Brien and giving UK the 3-0 advantage.
     
    Stanford got its lone run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kayla Bonstrom started the inning with a single and was removed for a pinch runner in Tylyn Wells, who was out at second when Cassandra Roulund grounded into a fielder’s choice. Jessica Plaza then hit a shot to deep left field with UK outfielder Kara Howard robbing a home run over a short fence in left. However, Howard would knock the temporary fencing over and fall down on the play. The home plate umpire granted Roulund second base due to the ground rules. Schaberg then singled up the middle to score Roulund and cut UK’s lead to 3-1. 
     
    The Cardinal got no closer as Nunley stranded two Stanford runners on base in the sixth and after a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh, Nunley got two pop ups and a fly out to center to end the game.
     
    UK started the day with a 5-3 loss to Portland State (2-3). The Vikings jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in the game and never looked back to defeat the Wildcats. After a leadoff walk to start the game, Becca Bliss placed a perfect sacrifice bunt to the pitcher Ellen Weaver, who threw wildly to first, allowing runners to reach third and second. Lauren Bliss then delivered the big blow with a two-run ground rule double to right field. After a groundout advanced Bliss to third, Crysta Conn hit a liner just off Sagermann’s glove to score PSU’s third run and secure the 3-0 lead. Weaver got out of the jam with a strikeout and a pop up.
     
    The Wildcats answered with two runs in the bottom of the first. Steed started the rally with a one-out walk, followed by a double from O’Brien, scoring Steed, and advancing herself to third on the throw home. O’Brien then crossed the plate when Cumbess lined a single up the middle, make it a 3-2 game. 
     
    The Vikings got two insurance runs in the fifth inning. Bliss started the inning with a walk, advancing to second when Lauren Bliss singled. Aubrey Nitschelm then hit into an infield fly before Conn singled to load the bases. Candice Orozco then hit a ground rule double to score two runs and give PSU a 5-2 lead. 
     
    Kentucky got a run in the ninth inning off an RBI single by Sagermann, scoring Cumbess, who reached base with a double.
     
    UK will stay out west for its next tournament, playing in the 23rd Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, Calif. The tournament is being hosted by San Diego State. UK will play five games over three days of the event, facing off against Cal Poly, San Diego State, No. 16 Washington, UC Riverside and No. 2 Oklahoma. 
     
    Kentucky will play host to the SEC Tournament this season for the first time in school history. The event, which is considered one of the most prestigious softball tournaments in the nation, will be May 8-11 in Lexington. The championship game will be featured on ESPN2, while all other games will be shown on ESPNU. Ticket information for the tournament will be released next week on UKathletics.com.
     
    For the latest on UK softball, follow “@UKSoftball” on Twitter or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.



    LSU Falls to UNC at Home

    BATON ROUGE - The No. 10 LSU softball team was handed its first setback of the 2013 season, a 3-1 decision by No. 22 North Carolina on the final day of the Tiger Classic Sunday at Tiger Park.
     
    LSU (4-1) was six outs away from posting an unblemished opening weekend after the Tigers snatched a 1-0 edge during the fourth inning.
     
    "It just seems like we couldn't get a break all day," head coach Beth Torina said. "Everything that happened seemed to not go our way. We will learn from it. We definitely made some mistakes in our infield in the sixth inning. I think we have to improve on that. We have to be aggressive at the right times and conservative at the right times. I think it is just a balance of (knowing) what we can get and when to go for certain plays."
     
    Jacee Blades hustled her way to an infield single and advanced to second base on a North Carolina throwing error by the shortstop. Two batters later, Allison Falcon belted a RBI double that one-hopped the left field fence for the game's first run.
     
    "I like where I'm at in the lineup," Falcon said. "We are doing a lot of things within our hitting plans and hitting the pitcher's weaknesses. That is really helping us a lot. Coach Dobson, Coach Leftwich and Coach McDonald get us really prepared. That helps us out big time when we are practicing on what a pitcher might throw us so we can be ready for it when a pitcher throws to us in a pressure situation."
     
    Making her first career start against a Top 25 opponent, Meghan Patterson fired a sparkling first five innings of shutout ball. The junior right-hander retired 15 of the first 17 batters she faced. However, she was handed the tough-luck loss and dropped to 1-1 on the season.
     
    The Tar Heels (3-2) opened the sixth inning with a Tisha Mahon bunt single down the third base line on a bang-bang play at the first base bag. Amy Nece dropped down another bunt reaching on a fielder's choice as Mahon was ruled safe at second base on another close call.
     
    LSU turned to Rachele Fico out of the bullpen, but she walked Erin Satterfield to load the bases. On a 0-2 offering and seventh pitch of the sequence, UNC received the equalizer on Haleigh Dickey's slow-rolling RBI groundout to second base.
     
    Amber Parrish followed with another slow ground ball in front of the pitcher's circle. Fico fielded the ball and elected to go home in attempt to get the lead runner. However, Nece slid under the tag attempt to vault the Tar Heels ahead by a 2-1 margin. Constance Orr added a sacrifice fly to extend UNC's advantage to 3-1.
     
    LSU was poised for a two-out rally during the home half of the frame. Kailey McCasland coaxed a walk followed by Sandra Simmons being hit-by-a-pitch.
     
    On a 2-2 pitch, Tammy Wray lifted a high fly ball on the infield. UNC's Satterfield charged in from her second base post, but the ball bounced in-front of her in fair play. The spin on the bounce of the ball went towards the home plate where UNC's catcher Parrish fielded the ball. She attempted to throw out Wray going from first base to second base. She overthrew her shortstop covering the bag, and the ball went all the way to the centerfield fence which enabled Simmons and Wray to score on the play giving the Tigers a 4-3 lead.
     
    The lead was only temporary. After a conference, the umpires ruled that Parrish was in foul territory when she fielded the ball. Two pitches later, Wray struck out to keep the score in UNC's favor at 3-1.
     
    "Things didn't fall our way today," Fico said. "If there is a time for this to happen, it is going to be early in the season.  When we hit conference play, we need to grow from this and learn from this.  We know what we need to work on, and we are going to grind in practice to make it better and right."
     
    LSU had another rally foiled on a bizarre play in the seventh inning. Pinch hitter Simone Heyward was plunked and moved to second base after a Blades walk. With two outs and Bianka Bell representing the go-ahead run at the plate, Heyward and Blades attempted a double steal. The throw by Parrish from her catcher's spot deflected hard off the facemask of Bell's batting helmet.
     
    With Bell on the ground, the ball ricocheted back into play. Heyward broke towards home after hesitation but was tagged out at the plate for the game's final out after a charging Satterfield threw back to Parrish at the plate for the game's final out. 
     
    "The thing I love about this team is that we are very emotional," Falcon said. "We get very excited. I think we need to maybe help combat when we're getting down when plays like that happen. We need to find a comfortable spot somewhere in the middle between not to be too excited but not to be too low when bad things happen that don't go our way."
     
    LSU hits the road for the first time on the season and faces Ole Miss for a Wednesday non-conference tilt. Wednesday's first pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m., and a free live audio webcast of the game will be available inside the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net/live.  
     
    Live stats for every LSU softball game this season will be available on www.LSUsports.net/livestats. Fans also can receive live in-game updates by following LSU softball on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsusoftball and @lsusoftball on Twitter.
     
    The Tigers return home to play host to the Purple & Gold Challenge as Memphis, Nicholls State, North Dakota State and Virginia next weekend.
     
    The Tiger Park Ticket Office will open one hour prior to the first game of each day. Fans can purchase tickets on-site starting at $5 for adult general admission and $3 for youth ages 3-12. Season tickets are on-sale for $75 and additional ticket information is available at www.LSUtix.net. 



    Mississippi State Game Cancelled 

    Starkville, Miss. - Due to the impending storm and the flash flood watch for Oktibbeha County through the evening, the final three games of the 2013 Bulldog Kickoff Classic that were scheduled for 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday have been canceled.
     
    The 3-1 Bulldog softball team returns to the diamond this Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m., as the Maroon and White travel to Lafayette, La. for a non-conference battle against No. 12 Louisiana-Lafayette.
     
    For more information on MSU Softball, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateSB and like them on Facebook.com/MStateSB.