All-American Bianka Bell

Photo Courtsey of the Baton Rouge Advocate

Tiger Park Baton Rouge- LSU Softball took on Southern Alabama on a chilly night in Baton Rouge with a steady breeze sweeping the park all night. Much like the weather the bats for both teams started off cold and defenses were making mistakes right out the gate. The first error occurred when Kaleigh Todd of Southern Alabama was hit with the ball as she was sprinting down the first base line. Southern Alabama pitcher Devin Brown didn’t have much more luck as she walked the first two LSU batters.

                Allie Walljasper who was an All-American last year and is LSU's ace seemed to have a few early game jitters that she needed to work through. Walljasper didn’t settle into her normal game until about the 4th inning. She was aided by solid fielding from the rest of the team keeping LSU out of trouble. After the start of the 4th Walljasper arm came alive she would finish the game with 8 strikeouts.

                All of LSU offense came in the third and fourth inning; this is where the lady tigers showed how powerful their batting can become coupled with great base running. In third inning, the Tigers had two steals and two runs scored. Likewise, in the fourth the bats stayed on fire as Simmons was able to crush a ground rule double into center. This was followed up by a single by Quinn and another double by Jaquish which drove in two runs. The tigers scored their final three runs of the game in the bottom of the 4th. At this point Southern Alabama began to look defeated, players were hanging their heads and the trips to the mound by Southern Alabama manger became more frequent.

                Entering into the 5th inning LSU showed its true strength and although they were unable to score any more runs they choked out Southern Alabama with great pitching and defense. What started off as a slow game with batters fighting off pitches and innings taking much longer than usual began to speed up tremendously with batters striking out left and right and those that did make contact were pop flying in the infield.

                My only concern leaving this game was LSU inability to close with their offense. During the 5th inning LSU left a woman on base and during the 6th All-American Bailey Landry struck out with two women on. If Landry can capitalize here they run rule Southern Alabama. Once LSU gets into the heart of their schedule and begins to play heavy weights such as, Florida they will need their leaders and best players to produce in critical moments during the game. Fortunately LSU still has time to work out all these early season hitches.

                Overall, this LSU team will be a force in the SEC and across the country this season. They have multiple All-Americans that have returned and veteran leadership in the locker room. I look forward to seeing them in full force as we get further into the season and eventually make a push for the College Softball World Series.

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