BATON ROUGE, La. - A Sydney Springfield infield single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh lifted the No. 11 LSU softball team to a gritty, 3-2 walk-off win over the Nicholls Colonels Tuesday night at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge.
Tied at 2-2 in a game that looked destined for extra innings, Springfield's hit ricocheted off of the tip of the defender at second base's glove allowing Aliyah Andrews to score from second to seal the victory in thrilling fashion.
LSU (24-7) produced eight hits on the night from seven different players, none bigger than Springfield's who earned her first of the night on the final play. Bailey Landry was the only player to earn multiple hits, going 2-for-4. Taylor Satchell and Andrews each drove in runs in a two-run second inning that gave LSU the lead at 2-0.
Each team used two pitchers, and when it came down to it in the end junior Carley Hoover (7-4) was masterful as she struck out five and walked just one in 2.2 innings of relief. She came on for Sydney Smith who was perfect in the first three innings before running into trouble after as she allowed both Nicholls (19-11) runs on four hits with two strikeouts in 4.1 innings in the circle to eventually tie the game in the fifth.
Suffering the loss in the end was Nicholls' Jackie Johnson (7-6), only allowing a single run on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts in the final two innings of the contest. She came on for starter Megan Landry, who allowed six hits, two to her cousin Bailey for the Tigers, in 4.2 innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on 59 total pitches.
The Game Turned When... Tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Andrews opened the frame with the very first pitch of the at-bat going down the left field line for a single. Emily Griggs advanced her to second on a textbook sacrifice bunt to get the freshman into scoring position. A strikeout put two outs on the board for the team, as a walk to Sahvanna Jaquish kept the inning alive long enough for Springfield to strike the final blow to give LSU the 3-2 win.
Top Performers Bailey Landry: 2-4 Sahvanna Jaquish: 1-2, double, two walks Sydney Springfield: 1-4, RBI Constance Quinn: 1-2, walk, run scored Amber Serrett: 1-2, run scored Aliyah Andrews: 1-2, RBI, run scored Carley Hoover: 2.2 IP, five strikeouts, one walk, 46 total pitches
Head Coach Beth Torina on Sydney Springfield's at-bat in the seventh... "I think that was the best at bat she has had in that situation yet, honestly. It was different to me than the other at bats. I think sometimes she just tries to go on emotion instead of just doing her job and doing what she does. We all tried to keep her calm and tell her to 'trust your eyes,' see what she sees and just do what she always does. I really think she has had some big at bats but that was probably the best at bat she has had in that situation."
Sydney Springfield on the game-winning hit... "Honestly, I just came up to bat super relaxed. I tried to stay in my routine, breathe and focus on what I had to get done for my team. I know that if I stay in my routine and trust the process, I'll be fine."
Carley Hoover on coming on in relief... "I feel like the past few weeks my relief has been getting better and better. Coach and I talked about it a couple weeks ago and since then it has been our mission. I think that is definitely showing on the field as a result of something we have been working on. It is a super easy thing to do with someone like Savannah (Jaquish) back there, so that helped a lot."
Bailey Landry on facing her cousin Megan... "There was a lot of mix of purple and red in our family. Some people had Nichols hats on. Some had LSU shirts on and vice-versa. It's been really cool for our family. They're all here. It something that's really fun and we'll remember it for a long time."
LSU will be back in action this weekend, hosting the No. 16 Georgia Bulldogs for a three-game SEC series at Tiger Park beginning on Friday.