By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: The #12 ranked Tigers would host the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in Tiger Park on a drizzly, chilly Tuesday evening in Baton Rouge. The 11-4 Golden Eagles would look to give LSU a tough outing, however the Tigers would prove to be too much as LSU would run-rule USM in the 6th inning, 11-3.
It was also a great opportunity for Beth Torina to give a lot of young players some important game
experience with SEC play beginning next weekend.
Shelby Wickersham would start in the circle for the Tigers and take the Golden Eagles up and
down quickly to start off the contest.
Aliyah Andrews would put LSU on the board first as she would hit a very rare in the park homerun to left field putting the Tigers up 1-0.
After the lead off homerun, then allowing two more LSU base runners, Southern Miss pitcher Kaylan Ladner would settle down and get out of the 1st inning with no more damage done. 1-0 LSU.
Southern Miss would mount a threat in the top of the 2nd, as they would put runners on first and second with only one out. After striking out Taylor Middlebrook, Wickersham would walk Maria Smith to load the bases. But the Eagles would come up empty, leaving the bases loaded as Karley Nichols would strike out looking.
LSU would start the 2nd inning like they did the 1st, with a lead off homerun, as freshmen Ali Newland would rocket the ball over the center field wall.
The lead off homer would chase Ladner as she would be replaced by Morgan Leinstock. Leinstock would fair no better as she would only face six batters.
Cait Calland would draw a base on balls, before Danieca Coffey would strike out. Calland would advance to second on a wild pitch, then advance to third on a Andrews ground out.
Taylor Pleasants would step to the plate and hit a single to right field scoring Calland. Amanda Doyle would then single to left field. Leinstock would then throw another wild pitch, scoring Pleasants while Doyle would end up on third.
Up next Shelbi Sunseri would walk, being replaced on first with pinch runner Taryn Antoine. Georgia Clark would draw a walk to load the bases again, bringing out the hook for Leinstock.
Makenna Pierce would head to the circle for the Golden Eagles hoping to stop the bleeding. Ciara Briggs would draw a walk scoring Doyle from third, keeping the bases loaded with two outs.
Next Pierce would hit Newland with a pitch to bring in another run as the carousel would continue to turn. Pierce would then walk in another run, sending Cait Calland to first, before getting Coffey to fly out to left field for the final out. We would head to the third inning with LSU leading 7-0.
Neither team would be able to plate a run in the third inning sending us to the 4th where the Golden Eagles would score an unearned run. With Middlebrook on 2nd base with two outs, the Tigers would commit a throwing error, allowing her to cross the plate, cutting the LSU lead to 7-1.
Makenna Pierce would do a great job handling the Tiger hitters in the bottom of the inning, keeping them scoreless while stranding a runner on base.
Trailing 7-1 going into the 5th inning, the Golden Eagles would fight to get back into the game. After
Alyssa Davis would ground out, Hannah Borden would reach first safely on a dropped fly ball by LSU's Danieca Coffey at 3rd base.
Borden would then advance to 2nd on a passed ball. Caroline Worrell would step up next and double to left field, setting up runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out for Heather Hill. Hill would make the timely big hit, ripping a double to left field scoring Borden and Worrell, cutting the LSU lead to 7-3 with the Tigers coming to bat.
LSU would step up to the plate swinging as Danieca Coffey would lead off with a double down the left field line, followed by a Akiya Thymes' single.
Taylor Pleasants would hit into a fielders choice to third base. Pierce would then walk Taylor Tidwell
to load the bases. Pierce would struggle issuing her second straight base on balls, walking in another LSU run.
With the bases loaded and only one out, Eagle's head coach Brian Levin would go to his bull pen, bringing in Karsen Pierce.
Raeleen Gutierrez would reach first base on a fielders choice as the Southern Miss defense would make a great heads up play to get Pleasants out at home plate.
With two outs and the bases still loaded, Savannah Stewart would come to the plate and hit a two RBI single, scoring Antoine and Tidwell.
Pierce would strike out Jordyn Perkins to finally end the 5th inning, with the score LSU 10 - USM 3.
Beth Torina would send Taylor Edwards to the circle to pitch the top of the 6th after a nice five
inning performance by Shelby Wickersham. Edwards would walk the lead off batter, before retiring the next three Golden Eagles.
In the bottom of inning, Karrington Houshmandzadeh would single up the middle, then steal safely to 2nd base. Pleasants would then rip a hit through the right side, scoring Houshmandzadeh in walk off fashion with LSU defeating the Golden Eagles, 11-3.
With the win LSU is now 11-5 on the season, while Southern Miss falls to 11-5.. Shelby Wickersham would earn the win to run her record to 3-1. Kaylen Ladner would take the loss for USM to go 5-1.
Next up the Tigers will host a three game series against the #7 Texas Longhorns this weekend at Tiger Park.
Friday, March 5th at 7:00pm
Saturday, March 6th at 3:00pm & 5:30pm