BATON ROUGE, La. - After falling behind by a pair of runs early, a two-run home run from the bat of Sahvanna Jaquish started string of three unanswered runs for the No. 18 LSU Tigers in a comeback, 3-2 win over the Missouri Tigers Friday night in the SEC series opener at Tiger Park.
In a game that started with a wild first that saw the visitors score two runs in the opening frame before LSU (36-14, 10-9 SEC) could put a halt to it, the Tigers battled back and were able to tie the game in third with Jaquish's seventh home run of the year, while starting pitcher Allie Walljasper (13-3) brought in the game-winning run in the fourth on a base hit and held on in the circle for the victory.
LSU finished the game with four hits, with Jaquish leading the pack going 2-for-3 with her pair of RBIs and a run scored, while Bailey Landry and Walljasper had the other two Tiger hits.
Missouri (27-22, 5-13) produced its only two runs and two of their six hits in the very first inning, and would find a tough go of it late stranding eight runners on base over the course of the contest, including leaving the game-tying run on base in the sixth and seventh. Walljasper earned the complete-game victory by striking out four and walking one on 102 total pitches.
Regan Nash had two of Missouri's hits on a 2-for-3 night, while in the circle Cheyenne Baxter (14-7) suffered the loss as she walked two and struck out one in six innings, allowing all three LSU runs.
The Game Turned When...
With the game tied at 2-2 after Jaquish's home run in the inning before, Shemiah Sanchez drew a walk with one out on the board in the bottom of the fourth. After moving to second on a wild pitch, she tagged up and moved to third on a deep fly out to left. Walljasper came through with a single up the middle to plate the LSU infielder to give LSU its first lead a 3-2.
Sahvanna Jaquish: 2-3, HR, two RBIs, run scored
Bailey Landry: 1-2, run scored, walk
Allie Walljasper: 7.0 IP, six hits, two runs, one earned, four strikeouts, one walk, 102 total pitches; 1-2, RBI
Head Coach Beth Torina on the LSU offense...
"They have been putting in a lot of time. Coach Dobson has been putting in a ton of time with them. Trying to get swings where they need to be. Trying to get people back on track confidence-wise and mentally. I think they are having better swings because they are putting in a lot of work. Sahvanna is capable of doing that any time. She is capable of a big swing in any count, at any at bat, against any pitcher. I have seen it for the last four years. She is capable of doing that any time. Good for her to do that on her day. That was cool."
Sahvanna Jaquish on having success at the plate...
"Their pitcher (Cheyenne Baxter) was moving the ball really well. She was throwing some rise balls and some drop balls and then came with a change-up. I think we adjusted really well to what she was throwing. We had the 'two outs, so what?' mentality and scored late in innings."
Allie Walljasper on settling in after the first inning...
"I began to locate my pitches better and started trusting my defense. I went out to the mound prepared for the second inning. I don't know if I was so prepared for the first inning, but the second inning to the last inning was much better."
LSU will close out the series with Missouri on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 4:30 at Tiger Park. Game one will be on ESPN2 and game three on ESPN with Beth Mowins and Michelle Smith calling the action.
Due to the doubleheader, the team will honor the final three members of the LSU senior class, with the senior ceremony taking place after the conclusion of game two instead of the usual post game autograph session.