Jessica Mouse, Kirsten Shortridge and Jazz Jackson provided back-to-back-to-back RBI singles with two outs in the sixth inning to propel the LSU softball team to a 4-2 victory Wednesday evening over Southern Miss at the USM Complex.
In 10 of its 22 wins this season, LSU (22-7) has entered the fifth inning trailing or tied.
“We were a little rusty at the plate coming off the eight-day layoff, but our team fights to the finish in every game,” head coach Yvette Girouard said. “I continue to love how this team believes that anything is possible until there are three outs in an inning and 21 outs in a game.”
Megan Hill put USM (18-17-1) ahead 2-1 with a two-run homer in the fifth inning before the Tigers responded with three runs in the sixth inning.
Juliana Santos opened the frame with an infield single and Morgan Russell drew a two-out walk to keep the rally alive. A passed ball allowed Santos and pinch runner Tiffany Shaw to move into scoring position.
Mouse worked back from a 0-2 hole and pulled a 3-2 offering to right field for the game-tying hit.
“Jessica battles during every at-bat,” Girouard said. “She’s a huge contributor to our lineup right now. I’m so happy for her because good things need to happen to good people.”
“I just try to focus on every pitch and stay confident with the mindset that I’m eventually going to get a pitch to hit,” Mouse said. “In the dugout, we make sure that we keep our intensity up. That’s an excellent quality about our team.”
Shortridge and Jackson followed with first-pitch singles to put LSU up 4-2.
Brittany Mack retired seven of the last nine batters she faced en route to her seventh straight victory and improved to 9-1 in the circle. She gave up two runs on four hits and struck out six against five walks.
“Brittany was magnificent except for one mistake to the best hitter in their lineup,” Girouard said. “She’s just a tad off from being dominating. I was pleased with how she composed herself and finished the game in fine fashion.”
“I don’t think the layoff affected me too much,” Mack said. “My arm felt rested after the weekend off. I’m still working on getting rid of those walks.”
Southern Miss threatened in the first inning loading the bases with one out before Mack erased the threat by starting a 1-2-3 double play.
The Tigers used that momentum as Mouse drew a bases loaded walk to give LSU a 1-0 advantage in the second inning.
LSU returns to the new Tiger Park and squares off against No. 13 Tennessee in a critical SEC weekend series. Both Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s single game get underway at 1 p.m.
Sunday’s game is the program’s inaugural “Swing for the Cure” game benefiting the Baton Rouge Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The Tigers will be wearing commemorative pink uniforms that will be part of a silent auction with all proceeds going the Komen Foundation.