|sec friday baseball Results
|Tennessee 9, UNC Wilmington 0
|Tennessee 5, Valparasio 0
|South Carolina 29, Alabama State 0
|South Carolina 12, Kennesaw State 3
|Auburn 2, Charlotte 1
|Minnesota 4, Auburn 3
|Ole Miss 7, UConn 3
|Ole Miss 7, Villanova 0
|Texas A&M 5, Illinois 0
|Texas A&M 6, College of Charleston 4
|Mississippi State 2, LIU Brooklyn 0
|Mississippi State 8, Fordham 0
|Georgia 9, Indiana State 1
|North Dakota State 3, Georgia 0
|Alabama 12, St. John's 4
|Alabama 6, Iowa State 0
|Florida 4, Drake 1
|Florida 20, Florida A&M 2
|Kentucky 4, Loyola Marymount 3
|Kentucky 3, Central Michigan 1
|Jacksonville State 5, Arkansas 4
|Arkansas 17, Northern Iowa 1
|LSU 6, Penn State 5
|LSU 14, Michigan 6
DOTSON BLASTS 2 HOMERS AS NO. 7/9 UT DEFEATS UNCW AND VALPARAISO
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C – Kat Dotson hit two home runs and No. 7/9 Tennessee enjoyed strong pitching performances from Cheyanne Tarango and Ellen Renfroe in a pair of wins over UNC-Wilmington and Valparaiso on Saturday in the Buccaneer Invitational.
UT took a 9-0 win over UNCW in five frames and then defeated Valparaiso, 5-0.
GAME 2: No. 7/9 Tennessee 5, Valparaiso 0
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C -Kat Dotson hit a three-run homer and Ellen Renfroe fanned six over seven shutout frames as the No. 7/9 Tennessee softball team defeated Valparaiso, 5-0, on Saturday in the Buccaneer Invitational.
The Lady Vols (18-3) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and scored four more in the sixth to defeat the Crusaders. Tennessee earned its 17th win away from home. UT has played 20 of its first 21 games of 2013 away from home as it prepares for its SEC opening series next week against defending national champion No. 1/2 Alabama.
Dotson's three-run homer was her third on the year and helped give Tennessee command of the game late. Raven Chavanne went 2-for-2 with two runs and two stolen bases. Chavanne now has 16 stolen bases on the year and 118 for her career - two shy of tying Lindsay Schutzler's program mark of 120.
Ellen Renfroe (6-1) tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out six batters. She now has four complete game and three shutouts on the year.
In the first inning, UT pulled ahead 1-0 when Lauren Gibson plated Chavanne from third base on a sac bunt to the pitcher.
The Lady Vols' lead expanded to 5-0 with a four-run sixth. With pinch runner Hanna Trainer on third base and one out, Tory Lewis ripped an RBI single up the middle to push UT's lead to 2-0. After Chavanne drew a walk on five pitches, Dotson absolutely crushed a 3-1 pitch for a two-run homer to straightaway center.
Tennessee tallied eight hits in the game to Valparaiso's three.
UT will conclude its play in the Buccaneer Invitational on Sunday, facing host Charleston Southern at 3 p.m.
GAME 1: No. 7/9 Tennessee 9, UNC-Wilmington 0 (5)
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C - Madison Shipman and Kat Dotson hit home runs and Cheyanne Tarango tossed a five-strikeout one-hitter as No. 7/9 Tennessee took a 9-0 win over UNC-Wilmington on Saturday in the Buccaneer Invitational.
The Lady Vols (17-3) scored four runs in the first inning and never let up as Tarango held UNC-Wilmington in check.
Shipman had a two-run homer and two runs scored and Dotson had a two-run homer. Melissa Davin went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs.
Tarango (3-1) three five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. She also scored a run and had an RBI on the day.
Casey Rowland took the loss after allowing nine earned runs over four innings.
The Lady Vols jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With the bases loaded, Tarango batted in Raven Chavanne on a fielder's choice to the shortstop as Chavanne slid into home plate safely. Melissa Brown drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Lauren Gibson and Davin followed with a two-RBI single up the middle.
In the bottom of the second, with two outs and Gibson on second base, Shipman hammered a 2-2 pitch to left center for her second home run of the season.
Tennessee's lead grew to 7-0 in the bottom of the third when Lexi Overstreet connected for an RBI single to right field, plating Davin, who opened the inning with a leadoff double to right center. Three batters later, Dotson ripped a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right field for a two-run homer, pushing UT's lead to 9-0.
GAMECOCKS SCORE 41 RUNS IN SWEEPING TWO SATURDAY
Carolina Routs Alabama State and Kennesaw State to Improve to 10-3
STATESBORO, GA. (March 2, 2013) – The University of South Carolina softball team ran its record to 10-3 on the season with a pair of five-inning wins on Saturday in Statesboro, Ga. The Gamecocks routed Alabama State, 29-0, in the opener, then dispatched Kennesaw State, 12-3, in the second game of the day.
The Gamecocks will play two more contests here on Sunday, facing Florida International at noon and the host school, Georgia Southern, at 2 p.m.
GAME 1: South Carolina 29, Alabama State 0
Olivia Lawrence set a school record with five runs scored and the Gamecocks tied the school mark for RBIs in a game with 25, as Carolina routed Alabama State, 29-0, in a five-inning contest on Saturday morning.
The victory was the largest shutout win in school history, while the 29 runs was the fifth-highest single game total and the most runs scored since a 32-3 win over Allen in the 1977 season opener. The 25 RBIs matched the mark set vs. Coppin State in a 27-0 win in 1996.
The Gamecocks (9-3) jumped all over the Hornets (1-12) from the start, belting out seven hits among the 15 batters they to the plate in an 11-run first inning. Carolina came right back with nine more runs in the second and added eight in the third, as they pounded out 20 hits, received eight walks and were aided by a half-dozen ASU errors in the contest.
Julie Sarratt went 3-for-5 at the plate with four runs scored and five RBI, including a three-run homer, her second of the season. Kristen Struett added a pair of hits, scored three times and drove in four. Dana Hathorn was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored and 3 RBI. Eleven different players notched hits for the Gamecocks, while 13 players scored a run.
Katelynn Howser and Lakyn Shull combined on the four-hit shutout for Carolina. Shull (1-0) earned the win in her season debut, tossing four scoreless innings of three-hit relief. She walked one while fanning three.
Game 2: South Carolina 12, Kennesaw State 3
The South Carolina Gamecocks scored eight times in the first three innings and coasted to a 12-3 win over Kennesaw State in a game shortened to five innings on Saturday afternoon in Statesboro, Ga.
Chelsea Hawkins went 3-for-3 with a double, two home runs (her team-leading fourth and fifth of the season), three runs scored and four RBI to pace the Gamecocks’ 12-hit attack. Alaynie Page went 2-for-3 with a homer, two runs scored and two RBI in the contest.
The Gamecocks (10-3) need just two batters to get on the board in the first. After Sammy Garcia singled to extend her hitting streak to 13 games, Page homered down the left field line.
Carolina came back with four in the second, keyed by Olivia Lawrence’s two-run shot over the right-centerfield fence, her second round tripper of the day and her third of the season.
Hawkins belted a two-run blast in the third, then added another two-run shot in a four-run fifth.
Katelynn Howser (2-0) went the distance for the win, scattering seven hits and three runs over 5.0 innings of work.
Auburn Splits Saturday Games
Auburn, Ala. -- Auburn softball earned a two-game split Saturday defeating Charlotte 2-1 and losing to Minnesota 4-3 in eight innings. Auburn (15-5) closes out the War Eagle Classic with a 2 p.m. game Sunday against Southern University.
“We had two really good games today,” Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. “We had a nice rally in the first game and came up just a hit or two short in the second game. I’m proud of the way we kept fighting and giving ourselves a chance. Our pitchers did a good job in both games. I’m proud of Marcy (Harper) and Hilary (Mavromat).”
In the second game of the day, Auburn rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh but was unable to complete the comeback as Minnesota (9-7) hung on for a 4-3 win in eight innings.
Hilary Mavromat started and took the loss to fall to 5-1. Mavromat allowed four runs, two earned, on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in seven innings of work.
Sara Moulton improved to 9-4 with the complete-game win. Moulton allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-out single by Bree Blanchette that scored Erica Meyer. Meyer reached on a one-out walk and stole second to move into scoring position.
The Golden Gophers made it 2-0 when Tyler Walker crushed a leadoff home run in the second inning. It was Walker’s third home run of the season and it came on a 0-1 pitch.
The Tigers mounted a scoring threat in the bottom of the fourth. Branndi Melero singled to open the inning but was out on a fielder’s choice by Brooke Lathan. Emily Carosone reached on a fielding error to put runners at second and third with one out. Caitlin Jordan followed with a hard lineout to Kaitlyn Richardson at third who fired to second in time to double-off Lathan to end the inning.
The Tigers got some seventh-inning magic for the second time in the day when Austyn West hit a game-tying, two-run homer over the wall in left. It was West’s second home run of the season and it came with pinch-runner Tiffany Howard aboard. Howard ran for Caitlin Schultze who reached on an infield single. Baylee Stephens followed with a single and McKenzie Kilpatrick drew a walk to put runners at second and first.
Minnesota picked up the second out when Stephens was forced out at third on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Estell. The Gophers sent the game to extra innings when Kilpatrick was thrown out at home attempting to score on a single to right by Melero.
In the top of the eighth with the international tiebreaker in play, Tyler Walker doubled to center to score Sydney Fabian from second for a 3-2 Minnesota lead. A passed ball moved Walker to third. Richardson then hit a ground ball that Kelsey Bogaards caught, dropped and recovered to fire to first in time for the out but Jordan dropped the throw, allowing Richardson to reach. Walker scored on the play to give Minnesota a 4-2 edge.
In the bottom of the eight with Melero at second base, Lathan lined out to second for the first out of the inning. Carosone ground out to second for the second out of the inning, which also moved Melero to third. Jordan then hit a ground ball that shortstop Walker booted, allowing Jordan to reach and Melero to score to make it 4-3. Moulton ended the Auburn rally, however, when she fanned Tiffany Howard on a swinging third strike to end the game.
In the first game of the day, Branndi Melero doubled home Morgan Estell with two outs in the top of the seventh to lift the Tigers to a 2-1 victory over Charlotte (7-5).
Marcy Harper improved to 6-2 with the complete-game victory. Harper set a season high for Auburn pitchers with nine strikeouts. Harper allowed one run, earned, on two hits with three walks.
Katie Watkins took the loss to fall to 4-5. Watkins started and went the distance, allowing two runs, both earned, on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
The Tigers jumped on top in the top of the first inning. Emily Carosone picked up her 22nd RBI of the season with a two-out single that plated Melero (single) to give Auburn a 1-0 lead.
The 49ers tied the game in the bottom of the second inning. Samantha Slade drew a leadoff walk and moved into scoring position when she stole second base. After a strikeout, Kalie Lang drilled a hard single to left-center to bring Slade home and even the game at 1-1.
After scoring early, the bats went silent as each pitcher found a groove. Harper allowed just one hit after the second inning. Harper registered six strikeouts in that five-inning span. Watkins was just as tough, allowing one two-out hit after the second inning until the Tigers’ rally in the seventh.
The Tigers broke the tie in the top of the seventh. Morgan Estell laced a double to the wall in center with two outs and came in to score on Melero’s double to the wall in left-center to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Melero’s double came on a 3-2 pitch after she had fouled three pitches off.
In the bottom of the seventh, Harper retired the 49ers in order including making a sliding catch on a short pop up for the final out to end the game.
Ole Miss Sweeps Doubleheader in Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. – Freshman pitcher Madi Osias went 2-0 by throwing a combined five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out seven, and the Ole Miss softball team (15-9) defeated Villanova and UConn on Saturday at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling in Orlando, Fla.
Opening with a convincing 7-0 victory over Villanova, Ole Miss’ bats did not cool off in the second game of the doubleheader against another Big East opponent, as the Rebels topped UConn 7-3 on 15 hits.
Junior center fielder RT Cantillo, a preseason All-SEC selection, went 6-7 on Saturday with three doubles, a triple and six RBI in the two games combined. Osias went 2-0 from the circle, and Haley Culley and Brittany Broome continued their recent tear, going 3-6 and 3-3, respectively, from the plate.
Ole Miss got on the board early against UConn with three runs in the opening frame. After a leadoff double by Cantillo, Broome laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance her to third. Allison Brown then picked up the RBI with a single to left field. Later in the first, with Brown on second and Londen Ladner on first, Marina Parra hit a single to center field that got caught up in the blustery, swirling winds at the UCF Softball Complex. Brown scored on the hit, and Ladner rounded third and came home for an unearned run after an errant throw got past the Huskies catcher.
Senior pitcher Erinn Jayjohn opened the game by throwing four scoreless and hitless innings, and faced just 13 batters in the opening four frames. UConn finally broke through in the fifth inning with its first run, and tied the game in the bottom of the sixth with two more runs.
Entering the seventh tied at 3-3, Ole Miss responded with four runs to take a 7-3 lead which would end up being the final score. Senior catcher Kelly Nolan hit the eventual game-winning RBI, singling through the left side to bring in Melina Preciado, who was pinch running for Lauren Lindsey after Lindsey opened the inning with a leadoff single to left field.
Cantillo brought home two more runs in the seventh with a triple to right center field that scored Nolan and Parra.
Osias pitched the final 1.2 innings against the Huskies without allowing a hit and struck out three.
Ole Miss will close out its play at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling on Sunday by playing Villanova at 8:30 a.m. CT. Live stats for Sunday morning’s game will be available at OleMissSports.com.
Rebels Blank Villanova 7-0
ORLANDO, Fla. – Ole Miss scored seven runs on nine hits against Villanova and shutout the Wildcats 7-0 in its opening game of the day Saturday morning at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling in Orlando, Fla.
Osias was credited with the win because starting pitcher Carly Hummel did not pitch the minimum number of innings required for a seven-inning game. Osias went the final 3.1 innings with four strikeouts and just one hit allowed.
Ole Miss, playing as the visitor, scored its first run methodically in the top of the first. Cantillo led off the game with an infield single. After stealing second, Cantillo advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Broome. Brown then brought Cantillo home with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Villanova loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first, but Hummel’s second strikeout of the inning ended the threat.
Ole Miss put two more runs across in the top of the third to stretch its lead to 3-0. With one out away, Cantillo hit a double to right-center, followed by a walk by Broome to put runners on first and second. After Cantillo and Broome advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, the junior and senior came home on a fielding error by the Wildcats.
An RBI single up the middle by Brown scored Broome easily from second base, and the Rebels took a 4-0 lead in the top of the fifth.
The Rebels broke the game open in the top of the sixth with an RBI triple from Preciado to right-center that brought home Parra from first. After a sacrifice fly by Natalie Nimmo scored Preciado, Haley Culley reached first on a single up the middle. Cantillo then recorded her third hit of the game with an RBI double to right-center that brought Culley home from first and gave the Rebels a 7-0 lead.
Dumezich Throws No-Hitter as Aggies Sweep Twin Bill
ORLANDO, Fla. – Senior Mel Dumezich threw her third career no-hitter as the fifth-ranked Texas A&M softball team took a 5-0 shutout win over Illinois State (10-9) before defeating College of Charleston (7-5), 6-4 Saturday on day two of the Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Dumezich’s no-hitter against the Redbirds was the third of her career and her third within the past two weeks. The right-hander also tossed a career-high 16 strikeouts on the win.
The Aggies got comfortable at the plate early against Illinois State. Junior Nicole Morgan recorded the first hit of the game when she placed a base hit perfectly in the gap in right-center field in the top of the first. Morgan was left stranded, but it didn’t take long for A&M to get a run on the board.
On just the third pitch of the second inning, Dumezich found what she was looking for and sailed a ball over the fence in left-center field for the 1-0 lead on the Redbirds.
The Aggies loaded the bags in the top of the third inning, but were unable to capitalize on the chance as Illinois State pitcher Taylor Baxter fanned the final batter. Junior Emily Albus led off with an infield single and took second on a throwing error. Sophomore Brittany Clopton followed suit with a hard-hit single to the shortstop, and stole second. With two runners in scoring position, Dumezich drew a full-count walk to load the bases before the trio was left stranded on a strikeout.
A three-run bomb over right-center field took flight off the bat of freshman Cali Lanphear in the top of the fifth inning, and gave the Aggies a 4-0 lead. Albus again led off in the half-inning with an infield single and was joined on the bases by Morgan, who reached on her second base hit of the game. Morgan was replaced by junior Taran Tyler on the base paths. Tyler stole second before Lanphear found the perfect pitch and sent it over the wall for three RBI.
Dumezich (13-0) fanned a career-high 16 batters through seven innings of work for the no-hitter, walking two and hitting one batter. Baxter (5-3) gave up four earned runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out three for the loss.
The Aggies rounded out their Texas Independence Day celebration with a 6-4 win over College of Charleston, despite a late rally by the Cougars.
In the top of the first, the Aggies drew three walks to load the bases before a Jenna Stark double through the right side sent two home for an early 2-0 pounce on the Cougars. Clopton and Lanphear scored on the play.
Three runs in the top of the third inning added a cushion for A&M. Dumezich and Stark each plated a runner on RBI groundouts before junior Amber Garza lined a home run over the fence in right field for the 5-0 lead. Both runs were unearned, as Morgan led off in the inning with a trip to first on an error by the second baseman. Garrett replaced Morgan on the base paths before Lanphear pounded a double into right field to put the pair in scoring position.
A&M didn’t stop its offensive hunt there, and scored another run, unearned, in the top of the fourth to improve to 6-0 over the Cougars. Albus led off with an infield single and moved to second on an error that put Morgan on first. A walk by Lanphear loaded the bases before Dumezich grounded into a fielder’s choice. The third baseman made a bad throw, and the error allowed Albus to score, unearned. Two straight outs left the bases loaded for A&M.
College of Charleston also loaded the bags in the bottom of the fifth, but the Aggie defense held Cougar runners on each base to maintain the 6-0 shutout.
The Cougars had a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to best the No. 5 Aggies. An error put one C of C runner on base before a home run sent the duo home to narrow the score, 6-2. A double to left-center plated two more before Dumezich entered to pitch and stopped the bleeding to give A&M a 6-4 victory with the save.
Ainsley (7-1) earned the win, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out four. Dumezich picked up her third save of the season after tossing two strikeouts and giving up one hit in one inning in the circle. C of C’s Hope Klicker (4-3) suffered the loss, giving up two earned runs on four hits and three walks through 2.2 innings of work.
Owen Tosses 14th No-Hitter in School History; Becker Pitches One-Hit Gem
Orlando, Fla. – Striking out her seventh batter of the game at 12:48 p.m. ET Saturday, reigning SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week Alison Owen completed her first career complete-game no-hitter. With the 14th no-no in school history taking place at the annual D9 Citrus Classic, the Bulldogs shut out the Rams by a score of 8-0 in five innings. The run-rule win gave MSU four such victories this season in 17 games, already half of last year’s total in 57 contests.
Two hours earlier with a national audience watching on ESPN3, teammate Stephanie Becker channeled some Mickey magic of her own at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, hurling a complete-game one-hitter against LIU-Brooklyn in a 2-0 triumph. On the day, the Bulldog pitching staff surrendered just one hit in 12 innings and allowed just three opponents to reach base (two hit by pitches, one walk).
The two shutouts improved the Maroon and White to 13-4 on the season, while also giving State one more shutout through 17 games than the Bulldogs recorded all of last season (57 games). The 13-4 start is the best start for Starkville’s Team through 17 games since MSU went 14-3 to open the 2008 campaign.
Junior Logan Foulks shined the brightest offensively under the Florida sun, recording the game-winning RBI in both games to help ensure the sweep. The Douglasville, Ga., native ended Saturday 5-for-6 (.833), including a stretch where she hit three home runs and drove in five in four-consecutive at bats.
Game One Recap
Becker drew the starting assignment in the first contest Saturday and would have thrown the first no-hitter of the day had a line drive up the middle gone six inches south into her glove. The southpaw was sensational in the circle, striking out eight and retiring the last 14 Blackbirds in order. Becker improved to 4-1 and has now earned the win in three-consecutive starts.
The Bulldogs had five hits but nothing to show for it with a scoreless tie heading to the bottom of the sixth, before things changed that fast.
With two outs in the inning, Foulks took a first-pitch offering and crushed it well over the fence in right, putting MSU on the board first.
Junior Sam Lenahan kept the momentum going with a screaming double to right center, before senior Jessica Cooley drove her in with a standup double down the left-field line.
With the pair of two-out RBIs, the Bulldogs have now outscored opponents by a margin of 27-4 in the category this season. As a result of MSU picking up its 12th win of 2013, Stuedeman improved to 26-0 as a head coach when leading after the sixth inning, as well as moving to 3-1 in televised games the last two years.
Game Two Recap
In the 8-0 game-shortened win vs. Fordham, Owen joined Becker and senior left-hander Kylie Vry as the third of five active pitchers on the MSU staff to have thrown a no-hitter. Owen fanned seven and walked none in 5.0 innings of work, improving her NCAA-best strikeout-to-walk ratio to 78-to-1. Fordham’s only base runner came at the start of the third inning via a hit batter.
Foulks continued her torrid pace, finishing 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs. The third baseman became the first Bulldog of 2013 with two home runs in the same game, ripping round-trippers in the first and fourth inning.
Making her leadoff debut this season was redshirt sophomore Briana Bell, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, two runs, a stolen base and a home run. Bell’s second home run in as many days matched her freshman total in 40 games played as a freshman in 2011.
Also tallying multiple hits for the Bully Bombers were senior left fielder Jessica Cooley (2-for-3) and junior center fielder Jessica Offutt (2-for-2).
Georgia Splits with Indiana State, North Dakota State
ATHENS, Ga. – The No. 23/24 University of Georgia softball team split a pair of decisions on Saturday, March 2 on the second day of the Fifth Annual Bulldog Invitational at Jack Turner Stadium in Athens, Ga. Georgia picked up a 9-1 win over Indiana State in the first game of the day before falling 3-0 to North Dakota State. Georgia is now 10-7 on the season.
Georgia 9, Indiana State 1
Georgia took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Paige Wilson flew out to right field to score Anna Swafford, who reached on a singled to short.
The Bulldogs tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third to take a 3-0 lead over the Sycamores. With runners at first and second, Kaylee Puailoa doubled off the center field wall to score the first run of the inning. Katie Browne then drove in the second run with an RBI-groundout to third.
Georgia extended its lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, a Tess Sito double to center put a runner in scoring position for Anna Swafford who singled up the middle. Sito scored on a Wilson sacrifice. With two away and a runner at third, Geri Ann Glasco doubled to center to score Swafford and give the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead.
The Sycamores got a run back in the top of the fifth, on a RBI-single by Shelby Wilson that scored Alexa Cavin, who reached on a fielder’s choice. The single was the first hit allowed by Glasco. Following the run, Glasco retired the final two batters to end the inning with Georgia holding a 5-1 lead.
Swafford drove in Georgia’s sixth run of the game in the bottom of the fifth on a long triple to left center field. Niaja Griffin showed off her speed by beating the throw from the pitcher to reach on an infield single. With two away, Swafford belted a triple up the middle to give the Bulldogs a 6-1 lead. Wilson followed with a triple of her own that scored Swafford and extended Georgia’s lead to 7-1. The two triples marked the first time since 2009 that the Bulldogs recorded two triples in a single game.
A two run sixth inning sealed Georgia’s 9-1, six-inning win. A single and a pair of walks loaded the bases for Christine Olney who doubled up the middle that scored Browne and Puailoa to seal the win.
Glasco took the win to move to 6-1 on the season. She allowed just one run on one hit in 5.0 innings in the circle. Chelsea Wilkinson came on in relief to throw the final inning, allowing just one hit and striking out two.
North Dakota State 3, Georgia 0
North Dakota State took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run home run by Amanda Grable.
Georgia’s first base runner of the game came in the bottom of the third when Olney reached on a two-base fielding error by NDSU. Trying to move to third on a passed ball, Olney was thrown out at third, ending the scoring chance for the Bulldogs.
The Bison extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth after Alex Sobrero led off with a double to the left field corner. Sobrero scored on a RBI-single by Maritza Lopez-Portillo two batters later.
Wilson gave Georgia its first hit of the game with a single up the middle in the bottom of the seventh. Wilson was left stranded as the final outs of the game were recording, sealing North Dakota State’s 3-0 win.
Sito suffered the loss for the Bulldogs to fall to 1-1 on the year. She allowed two runs on four hits in two innings of work. Morgan Montemayor threw five innings in relief, allowed just one run on four hits and struck out three.
Alabama Closes out Easton Classic with Two Wins
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The top-ranked Alabama softball team secured it 13th straight tournament title as it won two games Saturday to claim the Easton Classic title. Alabama opened the day with a 12-4 win over St. John’s and then closed out the tournament with a 6-0 victory over Iowa State. With the pair of victories, the Crimson Tide improves to 22-0 on the season.
Jackie Traina hit a three-run home run and tallied five RBI as Alabama defeated St. John’s, 12-4, in the first game of the final day of the Easton Classic from Rhoads Stadium. Alabama improved to 21-0 behind the arm of Lauren Sewell, who improved to 5-0 on the year with the win.
Playing small ball, the Tide put up a first-inning run off an Andrea Hawkins infield single. She stole second, her ninth steal on the year, and scored on a wild pitch.
St. John’s answered in the bottom of the second when Dominique Marcelino sent the Sewell pitch over the right field wall to tie things up.
Alabama would raise St. John’s solo homer with a three-run shot of its own. Traina would send the 2-2 Tori Free offering over the right field fence in the top of the third to regain the lead. The Tide would then add its fourth run of the frame on an error that scored Danae Hays.
The Red Storm would not go away. They added another solo homerun in the bottom of the fourth, slashing the Tide lead to three at 5-2.
Alabama would add an insurance run in the top of fifth and then strike again one inning later when pinch-hitter Haylie McCleney would score Kayla Braud on a standup triple. Traina would add to her already masterful offensive performance in the sixth with a two-run single up the middle, putting the Tide up by seven, 9-2.
To add to Alabama’s big sixth inning, Chaunsey Bell would then come up to bat with the bases juiced and deliver a two-run single, extending the lead out to nine runs. All in all, the Tide rolled to a six-run sixth, with a total of seven hits that ultimately sealed the Red Storm’s fate with the game ending in six innings.
Jackie Traina once again led the Tide to victory in game two of the day, pitching a complete game shutout and hitting her second homerun on the day to beat the Iowa State Cyclones, 6-0. Iowa State’s Taylor Smith falls to 4-2 on the year with today’s loss.
With today’s sweep, Alabama has now won six games in four days, including four wins in the Easton Classic in which the Tide outscored opponents 40-9. Alabama improves to 22-0 on the year going into conference play next weekend.
The first run crossed the plate in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Kaila Hunt. Traina stayed hot, belting a double to the right-center wall but was stranded at second to end the first frame.
Adding to the lead in the third inning, Traina annihilated a Taylor Smith pitch for a home run to center, marking the Naples, Fla., native’s fifth homerun on the season. She ends the Easton Classic with a .571 average (4-for-7), two home runs and six RBI.
Traina held the Cyclones hitless until the fourth, when she gave up a one-out single, but Iowa State could not parlay their two hits in the inning to plate anyone.
A fifth inning sac-fly by Danae Hayes plated Kallie Case to stretch the Crimson Tide lead out to three.
The exclamation point came in the bottom of the sixth when Danielle Richard belted a solo-shot off the left-center stadium light pole that sent the crowd home happy.
Richard was named the Easton Classic MVP after batting .800 (8-for-10) with a homerun, four runs scored, three RBI and three stolen bases.
Hunt doubled home two runs in the sixth to make the final score 6-0.
Iowa State would load the bases in the seventh with no outs, but Traina finished off the Cyclones in style – with three straight strikeouts. Traina finished her three-hit shutout with nine punch-outs, improving her record this season to 10-0.
With the win Alabama claims the Easton Classic title over Iowa State and St. John’s, finishing the weekend off undefeated.
Gator Softball Downs Drake 4-1 & FAMU 20-2 Saturday in Record-Setting Fashion
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A junior Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) one-hitter against Drake and a school-record tying, eight-homer offensive output for the Gators against FAMU helped the No. 4 Florida softball team improve to 21-1 overall on the year as the Gators topped the Bulldogs 4-1 and the Rattlers 20-2 Saturday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
Florida's eight long balls against Florida A&M - including two grand slams - tied a school record for most home runs in a game, last achieved by the Orange and Blue at Auburn in 2011. A total of seven Gators connected for bombs against FAMU, including junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.), freshman Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach, Fla.) and sophomores Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, Mo.), Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.), Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) and Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.). Haeger and Damico also connected for long balls against the Bulldogs in UF's first game of the day.
Rogers used a season-best 11 strikeouts four her fourth career complete-game one-hitter in the 4-1 win over Drake. The righty walked just two and held the Bulldogs hitless until the top of the seventh to improve to 9-1 in the circle for the Orange and Blue.
In the Gators' second game, UF scattered seven runs in the first inning, three in the second, two in the third and four each in the fourth and fifth frames to put up 20 runs on 19 hits against Florida A&M, its most runs since defeating Ball State 21-0 in Clearwater in March of 2011, and two shy of the school record 22. The Gators' 19 hits were additionally two short of the program record 21.
Castro went yard twice against the Rattlers - the second time in her career with two homers in a game - while Haeger and Little both smashed grand slams in the match-up to bring UF's season total to five. For Little, the grand slam was her second this year after connecting for one against Jacksonville Feb. 13.
After a Haeger sac fly and senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) RBI double for the Gators' first two runs in the first inning, the Florida quartet of Tofft, Schwarz, Damico and Medina collaborated for an unprecedented back-to-back-to-back-to-back blasts to stretch the Florida lead to 7-0 after the top of the first, the first such strand of bombs since former Gators Kelsey Bruder, Brittany Schutte and Megan Bush went back-to-back-to-back against LSU in 2011.
With a cushion to work with, game two pitcher Haeger went to work, finishing the day with seven strikeouts, while allowing just four FAMU hits and two runs, both of which came in the bottom of the fourth for the Rattlers. Haeger improved to 7-0 in the circle for the Orange and Blue.
Castro sent a one-out blast over the center-field fence to start UF's second-inning scoring, while a Schwarz RBI single and Damico fielder's choice brought home the other two second-inning scores for the 10-0 Gator lead. In the third stanza, a Haeger base hit set up Castro's second bomb of the afternoon, a two-run shot that extended the advantage, 12-0.
Haeger's grand slam and team-leading fifth homer of the season, highlighted the fourth inning for the 16-0 UF lead before FAMU narrowed it, 16-2, in the bottom of the frame on a Kieifi Myrick RBI single and Raven Moseley ground out. Little struck for her second grand slam of the year, UF's eighth homer of the game, in the top of the fifth to seal the deal for the Gators. For Tofft, her homer in the first inning marked the first of her Gator career.
Medina was a perfect 3-for-3 on the afternoon against FAMU, while Little and Tofft were both 2-for-2. Haeger and Horton both finished 2-for-4 against the Rattlers, while Castro was 2-for-3 and Schwarz 3-for-4.
Florida A&M starter Jennifer Lindsey picked up the loss for UF's seven first-inning runs on six hits to move to 2-9 on the season.
In UF's first game of the day, a rematch of Friday's game between the Gators and Bulldogs, Rogers tossed her fourth career complete-game one-hitter, fanning a season-best 11 batters in the process.
Rogers threw a no hitter through six stanzas until Drake's Nicole Randel chopped leadoff base hit to shallow right field put up the first and only hit of the game for the Bulldogs. For Rogers, the 11 Ks were the most for the righty since 11 versus Eastern Michigan last season.
The Bulldogs were first to get on the board in the top of the first stanza after executing a double steal with runners on the corners. The Gators countered in the home half of the inning with a bases-loaded RBI walk from Tofft to knot the contest at one apiece.
The Gators used the long ball in the second and fifth frames to jump out to a 3-1 cushion for Rogers, as Damico connected for a solo shot in the second, while Haeger went yard in the bottom of the fifth.
Tofft added to the Florida lead with a two-out RBI double to the right-center wall for the Gators' fourth run of the contest against the Bulldogs.
Freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) also connected for a base hit against the Bulldogs to account for UF's fourth of the contest.
Drake starting hurler Jordan Gronewold shouldered the loss in the circle for the Bulldogs after giving up Florida's first run of the game before being relieved by Rebekah Schmidt and then re-entering and giving up Damico's solo blast in the second.
UK Softball: Key Hits, Strong Pitching Leads to Wins Over LMU, CMU
TAMPA, Fla. – True freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley threw seven strong innings in game one, while junior pitcher Lauren Cumbess allowed only three hits and one run in the second game of the day, as the No. 17/19 University of Kentucky softball team extended its winning streak to a season-high seven games by defeating Loyola Marymount 4-3 and Central Michigan 3-1 on Saturday. Both games were played at the Eddie C. Moore Sports Complex in Tampa, Fla., as part of the Under Armour Invitational.
The seven-game winning streak takes UK’s overall record to 15-3 this season, tying the best 18-game start in school history after the 2011 squad began the year 15-3 as well. Head coach Rachel Lawson’s 2011 squad went on to a 19-4 record before the start of SEC play and ended the season by hosting the school’s first NCAA Super Regional before falling to highly ranked Cal.
The Wildcats have got off to the fast start against some of the best competition in the nation, facing off against nine teams that were either ranked or receiving votes. UK has wins over three ranked teams in then-No. 3 Cal, then-No. 16 Washington and then-No. 20 Stanford, while also defeating four teams that were/are receiving votes in Oregon State, San Diego State, USC Upstate and USF. UK’s three losses have come to No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Arizona State and unranked Portland State.
Kentucky used come-from-behind performances in both games on Saturday, erasing a 3-0 deficit against LMU and a 1-0 hole against CMU. The wins moved UK’s winning streak to seven games – the highest of the season – while the Wildcats have won 12 of their last 13 games with the lone loss during that stretch coming to No. 1 Oklahoma.
UK has won all four games it has played in the 2103 Under Armour Invitational, defeating Illinois and 2012 Women’s College World Series participant USF on Friday before its two win Saturday. The Wildcats will conclude play in the event on Sunday at 9 a.m. against Western Michigan. The game will be played at the Eddie C. Moore Sports Complex field 9. UK and WMU have already met once this season with UK earning a 12-1 victory in game two of the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
Nunley’s impressive start in the circle in game one led UK to the victory over Loyola Marymount. After giving up three runs on three hits and three walks in the first inning, Nunley settled down to throw six scoreless innings the rest of the way. In her final six innings, Nunley allowed only two hits while not allowing another walk. Overall, Nunley struck out five, including retiring 14 straight to end the game.
For the season, Nunley is 9-0 with a 2.28 ERA. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., has 47 strikeouts in a team-high 61.1 innings pitched, allowing 24 runs to score. In her six games started this season, Nunley is 6-0 with a 1.23 ERA, throwing 40 innings with 37 strikeouts and only seven earned runs.
Offensively, UK recorded three hits against LMU, paced by sophomore catcher Griffin Joiner, who went 1-for-3 with a double and a RBI. Senior infielder Kara Dill went 1-for-3 with a run scored, while freshman Nikki Sagermann also went 1-for-3.
The scoring started in the first inning when LMU loaded the bases behind a single and two walks. After Nunley got a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Sterling Shuster singled to rightfield to score two runs and give the Lions an early lead. Nunley issued her third walk of the inning to the following batter to load the bases again, setting the stage for Nicole Clowdus, who singled up the middle to score the third and final run of the inning.
The Wildcats cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the first after Dill reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher. Joiner took full advantage, doubling to leftfield to score Dill. After senior Alice O’Brien got hit by a pitch, Cumbess lined a ball to the third baseman, who made the catch and threw to first to double off O’Brien, leaving two outs and Joiner at second. UK scored the second run of the inning when true freshman Maisie Steed hit a roller to the shortstop, who threw wildly to first, allowing Joiner to score.
UK tied the game in the third inning behind two LMU errors. Joiner leadoff the inning and hit a sharp grounder to third that the third baseman couldn’t field cleanly, allowing Joiner to reach safely. Sarah Frazer, who was pinch running for Joiner, then stole second and advanced to third on the deep fly out by O’Brien. Frazer came home to tie the game on the next at bat when Cumbess reached on another error by the third baseman.
UK grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth inning on another LMU error. Steed started the inning by getting hit by a pitch, advancing to third on aggressive base running after Sagermann laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. After the putout at first, the first baseman threw to third to try to catch Steed stealing the extra bag, but threw wildly down the line, allowing Steed to score and give UK the 4-3 lead.
Nunley slammed the door in the top off the seventh, getting a strikeout, groundout and pop up to seal the win.
Cumbess was the star in the second game of the day, going seven innings, allowing only three hits and one earned run while striking out seven CMU batters. The native of Normal, Ill., allowed two hits in the opening frame, but held the Chippewas to just one hit the final six innings. For the season, Cumbess is 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 38 innings pitched. The junior has allowed 13 earned runs in the circle this season while striking out 36.
O’Brien paced UK offensively against CMU, going 1-for-2 with a two-RBI single. Dill also earned a hit, going 1-for-3 with a run scored, while Joiner grabbed an RBI on her seventh double of the season. Junior outfielder Ginny Carroll was the only other Wildcat with a hit, going 1-for-3.
CMU got on the board first with one run on two hits and two runners left on base. The inning started with a leadoff walk before Cumbess got a lineout to third for the first out of the inning. Summer Knoop then hit a single to leftfield, putting runners at first and second with one out. CarolAnn Sexauer then singled to load the bases for Chelsea Delamielleur, who grounded into a fielder’s choice with UK third baseman Krystal Smith making a smart play to get the runner out at home. Cumbess threw a wild pitch during the next at bat, allowing a runner to score and give the Chippewas an early lead.
UK got all three of its runs in the third inning. After junior Emily Jolly started the inning with a pop up, freshman Sylver Samuel singled to rightfield and later stole second, advancing to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Dill then hit a slow roller to the first baseman, who was in for the bunt. The CMU first baseman fielded the ball but whiffed at applying the tag to Dill, putting runners on the corners with one out. Dill got into scoring position on the next pitch, stealing second before Joiner doubled to centerfield, scoring Samuel. Both Dill and Joiner came home to score on the next at bat when O’Brien singled up the middle, giving UK a 3-1 lead it would not relinquish.
Razorbacks advance to Woo Pig Championship
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas softball team split its second day in the Woo Pig Classic. The Razorbacks fell to Jacksonville State, 5-4, and defeated Northern Iowa, 17-1 in five innings Saturday at Bogle Park.
Although Arkansas fell in game one on Saturday, the team won its semifinal against Northern Iowa to advance to the Woo Pig Classic Championship game. The Razorbacks earned a rematch with Jacksonville State at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“I like the way we came back in game one but came up short,” Head coach Mike Larabee said. “Jacksonville State has a good ballclub. I love the way we bounced back against Northern Iowa. We swung the bats well.”
Chelsea Cohen, a senior, started game two and made quick work of the Panther lineup. She went three innings, giving up one run on three hits, while striking out four. She earned her team-leading seventh win of the year.
“Chelsea came out and dominated early,” Larabee said. “She has been our most consistent pitcher by far. She has command over all of her pitches. She is working her way into the ace role.”
Offensively it was catcher Jayme Gee that backed the Hogs in game two. She went 3-for-3 with a grandslam, five RBI and two runs scored. Also contributing to the offense was Devon Wallace, she went 1-for-1 with a double, three walks, two RBI and a run scored. Larabee was happy with the production from Gee and the bottom of the lineup.
“Jayme is really confident right now,” Larabee said. “I think the eight-spot is a great spot for her and she gets a lot of good pitches. I think the teams let down a little bit on the eight-hitter and she is getting some fat pitches to hit.”
Game one started with Jacksonville State loading the bases for Savannah Sloan with one out. Game one starter Kimmy Beasley got Sloan to chase a high riseball on a 3-2 count for the second out and then battled Kelci Johnston, but fell victim to a single up the middle. This gave the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead as both runs were unearned.
Arkansas started its offense in the second as Nicole Schroeder hit the first pitch of the inning for the Razorbacks into the centerfield grass. The solo-shot cut the lead in half at 2-1.
Beasley battled back strong after the first inning blunder and in the next 2.1 innings she retired eight straight batters. The sophomore also struck out six of those batters, improving her total to eight in the game, equaling her career high. But she ran into trouble in the fourth as Johnston walked and then Cadi Oliver double to put two on for Amanda Martinez. She was able to connect on a single but was thrown out trying to advance to second. Beasley then notched a career-high ninth strikeout to end the inning, but Jacksonville State grabbed a 4-1 lead.
The Razorbacks garnered a runner in the bottom half of the fourth and it was again Schroeder that started off the inning, reaching second on an error. Alyssa Bass then pinch ran but was thrown out trying to steal third.
Beasley retired the first two batters to start the fifth, including her tenth strikeout of the game. But, JSU recorded back-to-back singles from Sara Borders and Kalee Tabor and that ended the game for Beasley. She went 4.2 innings and gave up four runs, two of them earned, while striking out ten batters. Cohen came in and struck out Jessica Guy to end the top of the fifth.
Cohen found her own trouble in the sixth as Johnston reached base for the third time of game one, this time on an error from Sierra Bronkey. She was advanced to third on a single from Oliver and then scored when Amanda Martinez lined a doubled over Claire Clark’s head in center. Another unearned run crossed the plate for the Gamecocks, it was now a 5-1 deficit for Arkansas. Cohen, however battled back to strikeout the next two batters before giving up a walk to Guy. This loaded the bases for Borders and she struck out swinging to end the sixth.
Arkansas tried to start its comeback in the sixth as Navarro led off the inning with an infield single. After a Rambo groundout, this ended the day for JSU’s Hillary Phillips, she went 5.1 innings, giving up one run on three hits, while striking out three. Tiffany Harbin then entered the game and retired the final two Razorback batters of the inning.
Lauren Montgomery led off the seventh inning with a pinch hit walk. Gee then drew her fifth walk of the season to put two runners on for Chloe Oprzedek. She rocketed a three-run homer into the rightfield grass to cut the lead to 5-4. This brought up the 2012 SEC freshman of the year, Wallace. She singled in to left and to put a runner on first with nobody out for pinch-hitting Amanda Geile. The junior captain reached base on a fielder’s choice, but Wallace was retired at second. After Navarro grounded into another fielder’s choice and another out was recorded, Jennifer Rambo approached the plate with two outs. She worked a 2-1 count and Navarro stole second, narrowly escaping a tag that would have ended the game. Rambo worked a full count but went down swinging to end the game. Arkansas dropped game one of the day, 5-4, to the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.
Arkansas jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game two. Wallace started the game with her 24th walk of the season. She then advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a Bronkey groundout. Navarro battled and grounded out to the shortstop, to score Wallace.
Northern Iowa answered in the top half of the second as Nicole Fisher lined a double off of the centerfield wall with one out. She would come around to score one batter later on a Micalla Rettinger single into right. This tied the game at one apiece.
The Razorbacks struck again in the second as back-to-back-to-back singles with two outs scored Amanda Geile from second. She was the first to hit safely as Gee and Oprzedek followed, making the score 2-1, Hogs. Wallace added to the lead as she blooped a double into centerfield, scoring Gee and Oprzedek.
Andrea Sullivan and Schroder led off the bottom of the third with back-to-back walks. Two batters later Geile walked to load the bases for Gee. The junior catcher from The Woodlands, Texas smacked a grandslam into the centerfield rocks to give Arkansas an 8-1 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Cohen gave way to Hope McLemore. Cohen’s classmate was able to come in and retire the side in order, striking out two of the three batters she faced.
Gee continued her spectacular game at the plate as she lined a single into center in the fourth. Her third hit of the game scored Kyndra Meeker who pinch ran earlier in the inning. Summerford then scored when Oprzedek reached on an error, making the score 10-1, Arkansas. After Wallace walked, it loaded the bases for freshman Danielle Riddle. She made the most of her first hit as a Razorback as she blooped a three-run double into centerfield. Riddle would come around to score as Navarro singled through the right side of the infield. Megan Pearson followed the single with an RBI of her own as she reached on an error. Clark put the nail in the coffin with a two-out double that scored two. The Razorbacks led 17-1 after a nine-run fourth. That would be the final as Arkansas picked up its 15th win of the season.
Defeats Penn State and No. 14 Michigan
ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 11 LSU softball team collected two victories over Big 10 opponents, a 6-5 win over Penn State followed by a 14-6 triumph over No. 14 Michigan, on day two of the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
LSU (17-3) has emerged with wins in 17 of its first 20 games, the program’s best start through 20 games since the 2007 Tigers posted a 19-1 mark.
The win over Michigan was the program’s second all-time versus the Wolverines in seven meetings and first since a 3-2 victory in 13 innings at the 2004 Women’s College World Series.
“It was a great performance, and a big win for us against a quality opponent like Michigan,” head coach Beth Torina said. “I was excited to see our offense come out, be so aggressive and do that type of damage. Our players were very selfless. They swung big, swung hard and also did their jobs of taking their walks and moving their runners when those opportunities presented themselves.”
The 14 runs and 17 hits for LSU’s offense were season-highs. Eight players contributed to the 17-hit barrage, the most for the Tigers since they posted 18 hits at Arkansas on April 21, 2007.
Six players notched multi-hit performances for the Tigers fueled by A.J. Andrews’ 4-for-4 effort with two runs scored and a RBI from the top of the lineup. The four hits for Andrews was a career-high. Allison Falcon added a 3-for-3 performance and two RBIs.
Rikki Alcaraz and Kellsi Kloss connected for home runs highlighted by Kloss’ seventh inning grand slam to give her a career-best six RBIs. Kloss’ six RBIs were the most by a LSU player since Vanessa Soto tallied six RBIs versus Centenary on February 10, 2007.
“I thought we were relaxed as a unit after Coach (Torina) challenged us after the Penn State game,” Kloss said. “We knew we were struggling a little bit because we were being passive. That’s not who we are as players. Our goal was to be aggressive especially early in the count. I thought we did a good job of sticking with that plan for the entire game.”
Down 2-0 in the top of the third inning, LSU rallied for six runs and sent 12 batters to the plate. Simone Heyward was hit-by-pitch, and Andrews cranked a double into the left centerfield gap to put the tying runs into scoring position.
Jacee Blades chopped a RBI single that stayed on the infield followed by Falcon’s execution of a squeeze bunt to even the tally at 2-2. The Tigers surged ahead 4-2 after Bianka Bell and Tammy Wray pieced together consecutive RBI singles. Three batters later, Kloss smashed a two-run single through the middle to complete the 6-run outburst and make it 6-2.
“As soon as we were able to get a couple of hits, it sets the tone immediately,” Kloss said. “We’re very explosive and passing the bat has been our motto. Once that bat keeps getting passed and those hits come in bunches, we gain our confidence. That’s really who we are and who we’ve been this season.”
LSU tacked on two more runs during the fifth inning. With one out, Heyward walked and stole second base. Andrews slapped a RBI single to centerfield to extend the lead to 7-2. She moved up to second base after Blades’ sacrifice bunt, and Falcon belted her team-leading seventh double into the right centerfield gap to push the LSU advantage to 8-2.
“The big story continues to be the slappers for us in the lineup,” Torina said. “A.J., Jacee and Simone are such table setters for us. The three of them have been fantastic for us in every aspect, and are the reason we have been able to score so many runs.”
After a Wray single to start the sixth inning, Alcaraz crushed a two-run dinger to right field to give the Tigers a 10-2 lead. For Alcaraz, it was her first career homer.
Michigan extended the game and fought back with four runs in the home half of the frame. The Wolverines received RBIs from Sierra Romero, Sara Driesenga and Caitlin Blanchard along with a passed ball to pull back to 10-6.
With runners on second and third base, Rachele Fico dug deep and struck out the side to keep the LSU up by a four-run spread. She tossed a complete game sparked by 10 strikeouts and improved to 10-2 on the season.
“Rachele didn’t have her best stuff, but she gutted it out,” Torina said. “That’s the sign of a great pitcher to fight through it and find a way to win. The key for her was she kept focusing on what was working for her instead of what wasn’t.”
The Tigers added four insurance runs during the seventh inning. Falcon ripped a single off the glove of Michigan’s third baseman followed by Alcaraz and Dylan Supak walks to fill the bases. On a 2-2 offering, Kloss lined a grand slam over the left field fence for the final margin of 14-6.
“We showed we had a lot of fight through a full seven innings,” Torina said. “We were able to score runs throughout and not be content with what we had. Kellsi stepped up when we needed her to and provided a big answer for us after they scored those runs in the sixth inning.”
Michigan grabbed a 2-0 edge after two innings of play. The Wolverines made the most of a Sierra Lawrence leadoff walk. She advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt, stole third base and crossed the plate with the game’s first run when Kloss attempted throw bounced off her into the U-M dugout. Amy Knapp coaxed a walk and scored on Lyndsay Doyle’s RBI triple.
Game 1 – No. 11 LSU 6, Penn State 5
LSU’s top three hitters in the batting order – A.J. Andrews, Jacee Blades and Allison Falcon each produced two-hit efforts.
The Tigers jumped out a 2-0 edge during the first inning. It marked the 10th time on the season that LSU has dented the scoreboard with a first-inning run.
Andrews reached on a Penn State fielding error by the second baseman and moved to second base on a Blades infield single. Falcon followed with another infield single on a slow roller to the second base. A PSU throwing error enabled Andrews to cross the plate for the game’s first run. Two batters later, Blades scored on a Rikki Alcaraz RBI groundout.
The Nittany Lions got back to within 2-1 in the third inning as Cassidy Bell connected for a home run to straight-away centerfield.
LSU responded with a pair of runs during the home half of the frame. With one out, Blades legged out an infield single in-front of the pitcher’s circle. The Tigers capitalized on Penn State’s third error of the contest, a throwing miscue by the pitcher which allowed Blades to score. Bianka Bell tacked on a RBI groundout to plate Falcon and pushed the LSU advantage to 4-1.
The Tigers tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning courtesy of Andrews and Falcon RBI singles to make it 6-1.
Penn State loaded the bases to start the fifth inning. Bell knocked her second homer of the game, a grand slam to right centerfield, to trim the LSU lead down to 6-5.
The Nittany Lions put two runners on-base during the seventh inning. Ashley Czechner locked up the one-run victory with a strikeout and won her fourth straight decision.