Softball sweeps Saturday at Purple & Gold Challenge

By Tiger Rag News Services 

BATON ROUGE, La. – It took three full innings before the No. 7 LSU softball team began to get its offense going after spotting Central Arkansas two runs, but when they did get rolling the Tigers were able to put the game out of reach in a big way in a 9-2 win over the Bears to take both games on Saturday at the Purple & Gold Challenge.

The Tigers (7-1) produced 12 hits, of which half were the extra-base hits in three doubles, a triple and pair of home runs. Eight different LSU players produced hits on the evening, with three producing multiple hits.

Senior Bailey Landry finished a single short of the cycle Saturday, finishing the contest 3-for-3 with a double, triple and a three-run home run, bringing in four and scoring once. Sophomore shortstop Amber Serrett connected for her second home run of the season in the game, a three-run shot, driving in four as well, and going 1-for-2 with a run scored.

The only other players with multiple hits was Amanda Doyle, who hit a pair of doubles in the victory, while Emily Griggs was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Pitcher Allie Walljasper (3-0) earned the complete-game win as she allowed two runs, one earned, on eight hits with four strikeouts and no walks. Walljasper helped her cause as well at the plate as she was 1-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt.

Central Arkansas (2-6) put the Tigers in a small hole early, scoring a run in the first and another in the third, but would only threaten in the latter innings while the Tigers would start to pull away for good beginning in the fourth and on.

The Game Turned When…
A leadoff double from Amanda Doyle, followed by a single for Bailey Landry in the bottom of the fourth put two in scoring position for LSU to open the inning. A sac bunt by Allie Walljasper brought in Doyle, as Amber Serrett flied out to right to bring in Landry to tie the game at 2-2. The Tigers would take the lead in the very next inning.

Top Performers
Bailey Landry: 3-3, double, triple home run, four RBIs, run scored
Emily Griggs: 2-4, two runs scored
Amanda Doyle: 2-4, two doubles
Amber Serrett: 1-2, home run, run scored
Allie Walljasper: 7.0 IP, eight hits, two runs, one earned, four strikeouts, zero walks, 104 pitches thrown

Head Coach Beth Torina on the team’s performance against UCA…

“I like how we finished here tonight. I thought we did a good job of fighting back, they never panicked. They got on the board finally by being productive with their at bats with a couple of big hits. Emily and Bailey were great all night. I like that we were able to squeeze to get the first run. I like that we were able to have some productive moments. A sac fly scores the second run. That’s really the one to tie it up. I like seeing them have productive at bats, making productive outs. I thought that was a positive. Then stepping up and taking some big swings when we needed it.”

Bailey Landry on what was working at the plate today…
“I was just seeing the ball really well at bat and just trying to get whatever job I needed to get done, done.”

Amber Serrett on how she sees herself as a hitter…
“I see myself as just a gap to gap hitter, just trying to get jobs done. I think my last two homeruns have come with two strikes where my mentality is to just try and find something to hit hard and stay alive and it worked out.”

Game One: LSU 10, Georgia Southern 1 (5 inn.)
In the first game of the tournament for the Tigers, the No. 7 LSU softball team wasted little time in getting the offense going as the team scored all 10 of its runs in the first three innings, going through four Georgia Southern pitchers in a 10-1 win over the Eagles in five innings.

Six different LSU (6-1) players produced eight hits for the team in the win, led by Emily Griggs and Bailey Landry as the duo combined to go 4-for-4 with three RBIs and five runs scored. Griggs was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and three runs scored, while Landry was 2-for-2 with a double, RBI and two runs scored.

Sahvanna Jaquish led the group with three RBIs on her one hit of the night, while Sydney Springfield brought in two with hit and a sacrifice fly.

Sydney Smith (3-0) earned her third win of the season as she stifled the Georgia Southern (3-4) batting order, pitching all five innings as she allowed just one run on three hits with six strikeouts and just one walk. Smith needed only 74 pitches to get through the game.

The Game Turned When…
LSU scored 10 runs in each of the first three innings. The Tigers produced two runs on three total hits in the first, four runs on five hits in the second inning and four runs on no hits in the third. Over the course of the three innings Georgia Southern used four different pitchers while LSU racked up eight total hits.

Top Performers
Emily Griggs: 2-2, two RBIs, three runs scored
Bailey Landry: 2-2, double, RBI, two runs scored
Sahvanna Jaquish: 1-2, double, three RBIs
Sydney Springfield: 1-2, two RBIs
Sydney Smith: 5.0 IP, three hits, one run, six strikeouts, one walk, 74 total pitches

Head Coach Beth Torina on the performance of the pitchers on Saturday
“I did not think either of them had their best day that they’re capable of, but they were both good. They both did their job. I was pleased with both of them. They are both are capable of more and better, but it’s February. I’m glad that they are capable of more than what they’re doing in February. I thought they were both very good.”

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