Landry Walkoff HR Lifts Softball to 3-2 Win

BATON ROUGE, La. – Down to the final out in the bottom of the seventh, LSU junior Sahvanna Jaquish hit a two-run home run to tie the game, as in the very next inning fellow junior Bailey Landry connected for her first home run of the season to lift the Tigers to a walk-off 3-2 win in extra innings over the Texas Tech Red Raiders to sweep a pair of games Saturday at the Purple and Gold Challenge.
In a wild game that featured a coach ejection and unable to get anything going offensively until the latter half of the contest, LSU (12-2) produced nine hits in the contest, but none bigger than two of the final four hits for the Tigers in the game to extend the team’s winning streak to seven.
“I think I broke a chair on Savannah’s (Jaquish) homerun because I was jumping up and down. It was a really exciting end of the game,” head coach Beth Torina said. “It was awesome the way the team rallied. It was nice to see them see have hope down to their last out. It takes 21 outs to beat us and I think we definitely proved that tonight. I’m proud of their effort, that they rallied there at the end and never lost hope.”
The home run was the only hit for Landry in the game as she went 1-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, while Jaquish, who hit a three-run shot in the team’s first game of the day, kept the Tigers alive with her two run blast as she went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Emily Griggs also had two hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
“It was awesome. It was really cool to turn third base and see all my teammates,” Landry said. “It was awesome to have a great crowd out here and get the win.”
Although it seemed like bad luck would strike the circle again, sophomore Allie Walljasper (3-2) refused to flinch and earned the victory by allowing two runs, one earned on five hits with eight strikeouts in the complete game effort. Walljasper, with the help of the defense when it mattered most, got out of the tough jams when it counted to keep LSU in the game when the offense finally came around late.
“It was an awesome feeling. My team really backed me up and we stayed in it together,” Walljasper said. “We became one at the end of the game and it was just such a great feeling. We all had to trust each other and we all had each other’s backs in the last few innings.”
Texas Tech (5-9) had LSU on the ropes and looked like they were going to be able to pull off the upset, getting a run in the first and another in the sixth and holding on until LSU was able to make its comeback bid late. Mattison Maisel (1-1) suffered the loss after stifling the Tiger offense for much of her outing, allowing all three runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
Texas Tech plated a run in the opening inning, as an error by LSU put a runner on second base, as that runner eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to put the Red Raiders up 1-0.
Needing a spark, Walljasper was walked to put a runner on, as Akiya Thymes came on to pinch run at first in the bottom of the fifth. With the defense playing up, Simmons legged out an infield single to put two on for the Tigers. Quinn grounded out to short, but advanced the runners to second and third.
However, a shallow fly to center put two outs on the board and Jaquish was intentionally walked to load the bases, but an infield grounder ended the inning with LSU still trailing Texas Tech 1-0.
In the top of the sixth with one out, Texas Tech got a triple and on the next play on a failed bunt attempt, the ball skidded away as the run came in and put the Red Raiders up 2-0. Arguing that the ball was a foul tip, Torina was ejected from the game, as LSU would get out of the inning without giving up another run.
“Allie did phenomenal. She’s been doing great for us on the mound,” Landry said. “We’ve been having some trouble getting her some runs, but we kind of figured it out to give her some support on the mound. I was happy to give her that win and be able to rally behind her as well.
Down to their final out, Griggs ripped a single through the right side to reach first, and Jaquish blew the lid off Tiger Park with her shot to left center to knot the game at 2-2. LSU would get another hit, but the job heading to extra innings.
“I said no. I said this is not going to happen,” Jaquish said. “This is Tiger Park. This is our moment; this is our game. We’ve worked way too hard for this, and then I just went for it.”
After an out to open the eighth, a rare infield double put a runner at second base for the Red Raiders. A fly out to left put two outs on the board, but an infield single put runners at the corners for Texas Tech to ratchet up the pressure. Fortunately, Walljasper came back with a strikeout to end the inning and put a surging LSU back at the plate.
It took one pitch for Landry to see what she wanted, taking the next and drilling it to left center for the walk off hit to end the game giving LSU the win 3-2.
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