Game 1 - LSU 3, Missouri 1
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A two-run home run from the bat of Constance Quinn in the bottom of the sixth inning broke a 1-1 score and helped send the No. 18 LSU softball team to a 3-1 win over the Missouri Tigers and claim the series Saturday afternoon at Tiger Park in the first game of a doubleheader.
With both sides struggling to get anything going with just six hits and two runs combined, The Tigers (37-14, 11-9 SEC) got the biggest swing of the game in the sixth from Quinn, who was honored along with her fellow seniors prior to the start of the game, and came through on a 1-2 count and a runner on to push ahead and claim the series.
The hit was one of four for LSU, with Emily Griggs, Bailey Landry and Amber Serrett having the other three.
Carley Hoover (11-6) earned the victory in the circle as she scattered four hits and struck out six, allowing just the one run that scored in the third, but held Missouri (27-23, 5-14) in check for 6.2 innings. Allie Walljasper (1) came on in the seventh and closed the game out to earn the first save for an LSU pitcher this season.
Missouri's Colby Romaine had half of the team's hits, as Regan Nash drove in the only run. Madi Norman (7-8) suffered the loss as she gave up the home run and three runs total, but was only tagged for two as LSU was able to tie the game in the bottom of the third on an error in the field.
The Game Turned When... With an out in the bottom of the sixth and a runner on base, Quinn lifted one to left that continued to fly before eventually clearing the fence for the two-run shot to give LSU the lead at 3-1. With an out, Sahvanna Jaquish was walked to put one on, with Quinn connecting for her second home run of the season.
Top Performers Constance Quinn: 1-3, HR, two RBIs, run scored Emily Griggs: 1-3 Bailey Landry: 1-3 Amber Serrett: 1-2 Carley Hoover: 6.2 IP, four hits, one run, six strikeouts, three walks, 128 total pitches
Quotables Head Coach Beth Torina on winning the series against Missouri... "When you're in the last 10 games, every game is huge. I don't like dropping the last game of the series. It's great that we won the first two and I'm glad we won the series. Missouri is obviously a quality opponent, but we would like to pick up every possible game we can to make a good post-season case. I would hate to be on the bubble and have it come down to one anything and us not doing our job somewhere where we could have. That's my concern. I just want to make sure we're putting forth the best case we possibly can, winning every game we have a shot to win."
Constance Quinn on pulling out the series... "From here on out we need to play LSU softball. That is something Coach talked to us about in the circle. It is how we came out in the seventh inning. We got the crowd up. We were playing hard. We were playing like LSU. If we carry that on from the first inning through the last, we will win the ball game."
Bailey Landry on the team moving forward in the season... "We definitely have it. We have everything we need to be successful. I think it is just more consistently putting things together. We are on the brink of that. We have showed that in the games lately. We have all things that we need to be successful and find ourselves in the World Series again."
Game 2 - Missouri 3, LSU 1
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Things got off to an eerily similar start for Mizzou's offense, as it stranded five runners over its first three at bats. The visiting Tigers finally broke through in the fourth inning with an RBI single from senior Chloe Rathburn (Mission Viejo, Calif.). Alongside a single in the second inning, Rathburn's RBI knock in the fourth secured her sixth multi-hit game of the season.
Mizzou tacked on to its lead in the seventh inning, scoring two runs on two hits. Romaine and freshman Braxton Burnside (Paragould, Ark.) opened the frame with consecutive singles. LSU's fourth error of the game allowed the visiting Tigers' first run to score, while an RBI sacrifice fly by sophomore Rylee Pierce (Visalia, Calif.) pushed the next run across.
With a 3-0 advantage heading into the bottom half of the seventh, senior Cheyenne Baxter (Norborne, Mo.) saved her best work for last, enabling Mizzou's series finale victory. LSU's leadoff hitter reached base on a Mizzou throwing error and ultimately wound up at third base on the play. Consecutive singles by the host Tigers earned their first run of the game.
Two batters later, Mizzou issued an intentional walk to load the bases with one out. Clinging on to a two-run lead, Baxter stepped up and forced a pop up to first base and a game-ending line out to left field. Saturday's series finale win marked Baxter's sixth SEC triumph against a nationally ranked top 25 opponent.
Following three off days, Mizzou returns to action on Wednesday, May 3, with a doubleheader at Wichita State. Game one between the Tigers and Shockers in Wichita, Kan., is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT. Both games of the double dip will broadcast live via WatchESPN.