BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 25/23 LSU used the home run ball to power past Mississippi State 8-0 in six innings on Saturday inside Tiger Park. LSU hit two long balls with Bianka Bell driving in four runs.
With other Southeastern Conference results earlier Saturday, Mississippi State (37-18, 9-14 SEC) did earn a trip to the 2014 SEC Tournament. The Bulldogs do not know what seed they will be yet, but they return to the event after narrowly missing last season.
The Tigers scored their first seven runs within the first two innings as senior Shana Sherrod threw a career-high four-and-two-thirds frames and kept the Bulldogs in the contest. Sophomore Loryn Nichols led the MSU offense with two hits.
Senior Alison Owen (18-11) took the loss, yielding five runs on four hits, two walks and one hit batter in one inning of work. Sherrod allowed three runs on six hits. Baylee Corbello (17-7) earned the win for the Tigers, limiting MSU to four singles and two walks while striking out eight in the complete-game performance.
For the second-straight game LSU took an early lead, going ahead 5-0 in the bottom of the first. A.J. Andrews led off with an infield single to shortstop Kayla Winkfield, who threw wide to first, allowing Andrews to get to second. After a pop out on a bunt attempt, Sahvanna Jaquish walked and Bell homered to give LSU a 3-0 advantage. Constance Quinn was hit by the first pitch of her at-bat and Sandra Simmons singled through the left side on her first pitch to put two on with one out. Allison Falcon followed with a single to left that plated Quinn for a four-run cushion. Owen recorded a pop out before a walk to Simone Heyward loaded the bases. Andrews came up for her second at-bat of the inning and grounded one toward second baseman Heidi Shape, who tossed to Winkfield for the force at second, but Heyward was ruled safe. Simmons scored for a 5-0 advantage and Falcon tried to come around but was thrown out at home by Winkfield to end the inning.
MSU had its first base runner in the top of the second as senior Sam Lenahan led off with a walk. Corbello closed the frame with a foul out and double play.
The Tigers (34-20, 13-10 SEC) added two more runs in the bottom of the second to go up 7-0. Sherrod entered to pitch for MSU and LSU’s Jacee Blades led off with a single, moved to second on a fly out, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. With two outs, Quinn homered to left to make it a seven-run lead. A lineout closed the frame.
Mississippi State tallied its first hit of the contest with two outs in the top of the third on a single from Nichols, but a fly out ended the inning.
In the bottom of the third LSU had a chance to add to its lead, but stranded two runners. Falcon and Tammy Wray began the frame with consecutive singles to put runners on first and second. Batter interference and two-straight groundouts to first base left the two on base.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the fourth, but could not score. After a strikeout and pop out, Lenahan walked, junior Julia Echols was hit by a pitch and senior Logan Foulks singled to left field. Corbello avoided damage with a strikeout.
MSU put together two hits in the top of the fifth but did not dent the scoreboard. With one down, Nichols tallied her second single of the contest before being caught stealing second. Senior Jessica Offutt hit a two-out single, but a pop out ended the inning.
LSU ended the contest in the bottom of the sixth with the final run. Blades reached on a one-out single and, after a pop out, scored on a Bell double to left center.
The clubs finish the series Sunday with a 1 p.m. CT contest.
- Junior Julia Echols was hit by pitch twice. In her last five games, Echols is hitting .615 (eight-for-13) with a walk and four hit by pitches.
- Senior Logan Foulks is batting .364 (eight-for-22) in the last six games with eight runs batted in.
- Senior Sam Lenahan is batting .364 (four-for-11) in the last five games and has driven in five runs during the span.
- Lenahan drew two walks to increase her season total to 38, tied for the ninth most in a year in program history.
- Sophomore Loryn Nichols tallied her sixth multiple-hit game of the campaign and second in the last four contests.
- Senior Shana Sherrod threw four-and-two-thirds innings to match her season total in Southeastern Conference games entering the contest.
- Sherrod has tallied nine-and-a-third frames in SEC games, the most in a year in her career.
- Sherrod has appeared in three of the team’s last five SEC games.