Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 10:59pm
The 20th ranked LSU softball team battled the elements and edged Baylor for a 4-3 walk-off victory Wednesday evening at the new Tiger Park.
The Tigers (15-5) outlasted two rain delays that totaled one hour and eight minutes to improve to 9-1 in their last 10 games.
With the score tied at 3-3, Morgan Russell opened the seventh inning with a single and moved to second base on a Jessica Mouse sacrifice bunt.
“We’ve had some wild games all season long,” head coach Yvette Girouard said. “We had a conversation on who could pinch run. We had no one in the dugout [due to all of our injuries] so it was Morgan or nothing. The softball gods were smiling on us tonight.”
Russell moved over to third base on a wild pitch before Kirsten Shortridge was intentionally walked with one out. Another wild pitch allowed Russell to scamper home for the game winning run.
“I was running fast,” Russell said. “I told myself I had to score no matter what and that nothing was going to stop me.”
Brittany Mack bounced back with a complete game and improved to 5-1 in the circle. She was touched up for only three hits and three walks.
“I thought we did a good job of slowing down Baylor’s short game after the second inning,” Girouard said. “Brittany settled down after being out of whack last weekend [against Kentucky]. She didn’t get a lot of strikeouts, but she controlled their hitters. She used her drop ball to get ground outs and her rise ball to get pop ups.”
Baylor scored two runs in the second inning aided by a Bree Hanafin leadoff walk. She stole second, advanced to third base on a wild pitch and came around to score on a Nicole Wesley bloop single for the game’s first run.
After a Meagan Weldon infield single, Megan Turk knocked a RBI-double to left field scoring Wesley to make it 2-0. The Tigers executed a relay to perfection as Jackson hit Mouse, who fired a strike to Russell to tag Weldon at the plate to keep the score at 2-0.
LSU responded with a trio of runs in the home half of the frame as Juliana Santos singled, Ashley Applegate walked and Russell was hit-by-a pitch to set the table for Mouse.
Unfazed by the first rain delay, Mouse drilled a 0-2 pitch up the middle for a two-run single to tie the game at 2-2.
“I took the first pitch to see if she was going to be wild or not [coming out of the rain delay],” Mouse said. She wasn’t, she was right on point. I stayed focus and did what the coaches tell us to do. We needed to score two runs in that situation.”
A walk to Shortridge reloaded the bases before Russell scored the go-ahead run by sprinting home and using a creative slide around BU catcher Courtney Oberg to give LSU a 3-2 advantage.
The Bears drew even at 3-3 in the sixth inning on an unearned run. Mack had a ground ball go off the side of her glove with two outs.
LSU returns to SEC action with a trip to No. 8 Georgia. First pitch for Saturday’s doubleheader against the Bulldogs is slated for noon CT.
Photo Courtesy: Comedy Central/threatdowngenerator.com