Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Communications
By: Keonte Herrera
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 14/15 LSU split day two of the LSU/ULL Crossover Saturday at Tiger Park. After dropping their first game of the year in a 5-4 loss to UL-Lafayette, the Tigers rebounded with a 12-0 shutout win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
In the second game of the day, redshirt sophomore pitcher Emilee Casanova threw her first career shutout to earn her first career decision in the circle.
“I thought it was a great response to the first game,” said Head Coach Beth Torina. “I think they did a great job of coming out and scoring right off the bat and getting a good shutdown performance from Emilee Casanova.”
Outfielder Ciara Briggs and infielder Georgia Clark mirrored each other on day two of the LSU/ULL Crossover by going 3-for-5 at the plate with four RBIs, two runs scored and one home run. Briggs hit her first career grand slam against A&M-Corpus Christi (7-5) for her seventh career dinger, while Clark hit her 34th career home run against UL-Lafayette (8-5). Clark currently ranks sixth for the most career home runs in program history with 34 and is right behind shortstop Taylor Pleasants who has 35 career homers after hitting the Tigers’ third longball of the day.
Clark stayed led the offense with a 2-for-4 outing at the plate and hit her second home run in as many games. Pleasants and first baseman Raeleen Gutierrez both recorded a hit and RBI, and also drew one walk.
Pitcher Raelin Chaffin (2-1) was credited with the loss after throwing 2.0 innings, allowing two hits and four runs. Pitcher Sydney Berzon pitched 5.0 innings where she struck out two batters and allowed five hits, one run and walked two batters.
After the Tigers retired the Ragin’ Cajuns in order, third baseman Danieca Coffey led off the bottom half inning with a walk and advanced to second on a sac bunt. Pleasants drove a liner through the right field gap, bringing Coffey home for the opening run. Clark followed with an RBI single to left field to score Pleasants, giving the Tigers an early 2-0 advantage after the opening inning.
ULL responded with five unanswered runs in the second and third innings combined, highlighted by a pair of two-RBI homers in each frame to take a 5-2 lead.
Both teams went scoreless for two innings until Clark hit a leadoff homer in the sixth frame. Gutierrez kept the rally alive with a two-out RBI single through the middle, cutting into the Ragin’ Cajuns lead, 5-4.
Despite putting two runners on base in the seventh, the Tigers were unable to plate the tying run, resulting in a 5-4 loss.
Casanova earned her first career win in game two versus the Islanders. Casanova tossed a two-hit complete game shutout that featured five strikeouts and gave up just two hits with no walks against the 17 batters she faced.
Briggs and Coffey each was 2-for-2 in the batter’s box and scored two runs to lead the Tigers offensively. Briggs set a new career high of four RBIs after hitting her first career grand slam, and Coffey added two ribbies of her own. Clark had her second multi-RBI game of the day as she drove in two runs on one hit and scored one run.
LSU got the night started with back-to-back singles from Coffey and Briggs in the bottom of the first. Both runners advanced on a fly out to center before Clark brought both home on a two-RBI single to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
The offense kept pouring on the runs in the second stanza. LSU loaded the bases behind a couple of singles and a walk before Briggs stepped to the plate and hit the Tigers first grand slam of the season. Pleasants back doored her with a solo shot in the next at bat, giving her six home runs on the season. LSU went to bust the inning open with three more runs and finished the inning with eight runs on five hits to build a 10-0 lead.
The Tigers scored two insurance runs in the fourth thanks to a two-RBI single by Coffey. Casanova continued to shine throughout the offensive surge as she retired eight consecutive batters and fanned four batters over the final 2.2 innings.
The Tigers travel to Lafayette, La. Sunday to conclude the LSU/ULL Crossover at 2:30 p.m. against UL-Lafayette at Lamson Park.