LSU Softball Completes Weekend Sweep of Mississippi State
BATON ROUGE – The LSU
softball team rode the right-arm of Rachele Fico as the junior hurler
compiled her seventh shutout of the season during a 4-0 win over
Mississippi State Sunday at Tiger Park.
LSU (19-8, 4-1 SEC)
swept the weekend series from the Bulldogs (17-12, 3-7 SEC) and moved
its winning streak to 20 consecutive games in the all-time series
dating back to the 2005 season.
Lauren Houston paced the LSU
offense with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate, while Rikki Alcaraz scored
two runs. Ashley Applegate and Heidi Pizer picked up the RBIs for the
“I couldn’t be happier about the entire weekend,” head
coach Beth Torina said. “To be able to do it all short-handed, I
thought it was a really, really great team effort for us. I thought a
lot of people stepped up, a lot of people filled in. I’m really proud
of how they responded to that. They didn’t let it affect them or get
them down. They just came out and did the best we could with who we
Fico tossed a three-hitter and improved to 9-4 on the
season. The Oxford, Conn., native equaled a season-high and issued six
walks versus two strikeouts.
Stephanie Becker fell to 9-5
after she gave up three runs, one earned, on three hits in her 3.2
innings of work. She also allowed four walks against three Ks.
is huge for our team,” Fico said. “We really needed the sweep this
weekend, and we did just that. When we have the opportunity to come in
and not only win a series but sweep a series, we really need to
capitalize on that because if we’re looking to win an SEC conference
title, we need to sweep teams when we have that opportunity.”
Tigers used a two-out rally to dent the scoreboard first during the
second inning. Alcaraz coaxed a four-pitch walk, and Houston kept the
frame alive with her hustle on an infield single deep in the hole at
shortstop. That set up Tammy Wray, who reached on a fielding error by
Becker. The ball squirted away from Becker towards the first base line.
Becker and Wray collided which allowed Alcaraz to sprint across home
plate from second base to place LSU ahead 1-0.
LSU struck for
two additional runs in the fourth inning. Pinch hitter Ashleigh Kuhn
ripped a leadoff single to right field and advanced to second base
after a one-out Alcaraz walk. Once again, Houston legged out an infield
single to fill the bases. Two batters later, Heidi Pizer notched a RBI
walk followed by a fielding error by MSU shortstop Erin Nesbit to make
“When you have the opportunity, you have to jump on
it, especially in SEC play when those opportunities get pretty rare,”
Pizer said. “So to capitalize on those mistakes, base runners, errors,
and passed balls – like we did this weekend – was really, really
important for us.”
LSU manufactured another run during the sixth
inning. Wray worked her way to a one-out free pass. Pinch runner Alex
Boulet raced her way into second base on a bang-bang fielder’s choice
play and stole third base before coming around to score on an Ashley
Applegate ground ball for the 4-0 final margin.
placed runners on-base during six of the seven innings, but the
Bulldogs stranded all nine runners. Fico was extremely tough and
limited MSU to a 0-for-12 clip with runners on.
started this season, we knew that our pitching staff was going to be
the deal breaker – they were going to be who carried us throughout the
year,” Torina said. “I like some of the things that the offense is
doing – they’re showing some sparks. I think that we’re getting some
big defensive plays in key moments from people. So the whole team is a
factor for sure.”
LSU wraps up its season’s long 10-game
homestand Wednesday versus Georgia Tech with its inaugural “Pack the
Park” contest. All tickets are $1, and the first 1,000 fans will
receive a LSU softball roll banner.