BATON ROUGE, La. - A three-run home run from the bat of Sahvanna Jaquish gave No. 10 LSU a quick start in the first and the runs would continue from there as the Tigers earned a 7-2 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs Friday in the series opener between the two teams.
The home run for much of the game looked to be the difference between the two sides, until a wild four-run, four-hit bottom of the sixth put the game out of reach for good as LSU (29-7, 5-2 SEC) produced eight total hits on the night and got help from two Mississippi State (26-10, 2-5) errors.
Dominant for much of the night, Carley Hoover (9-4) fanned 10 Bulldog batters and scattered seven hits as MSU would plate two unearned runs in the top of the seventh due to a passed ball and an error in the field. Hoover tossed 103 pitches in the victory, with 69 coming for strikes, 20 on the first pitch.
Jaquish finished the game going 2-for-2, belting her sixth home run of the year and driving in five as she was also walked twice. Jaquish and Bailey Landry, who also went 2-for-2 with a run scored, accounted for four of LSU's five walks the team received on the night.
Six different LSU players earned hits for LSU on Friday, with the craziest play coming in the sixth when freshman Nicky Dawson legged out an infield single, and with the MSU shift on, an errant throw from starting pitcher Alexis Silkwood (10-3) rolled into no-man's land in right allowing Dawson to score from first. That play would end Silkwood's day as she pitched five innings allowing four runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Mississippi State's Reggie Harrison and Caroline Seitz had four of the Bulldogs' seven hits in the contest.
The Game Turned When...
Jaquish blasted her first home run since March 18 in the third at-bat of the game for the Tigers to give LSU the lead at 3-0. Emily Griggs opened the game with a single to third, as Landry followed suit with a single to short. On the second pitch of her at-bat Jaquish skied one over the fence in left center field for the round-tripper to give LSU the upper hand early.
Sahvanna Jaquish: 2-2, HR, five RBIs, two walks, run scored Bailey Landry: 2-2, two walks, run scored Nicky Dawson: 1-1, run scored Elyse Thornhill: 1-1, RBI Emily Griggs: 1-4, run scored Allie Walljasper: 1-3, double Carley Hoover: 7.0 IP, two runs, none earned, seven hits, 10 strikeouts, one walk, 103 total pitches
Head Coach Beth Torina on the team's good start in the first...
"The first inning was like the perfect inning. We pitched great. We only threw one ball in the inning. Then we got the leadoff batter on, then the two-hole batter. Then we got the three-run home run from Sahvanna. If we could have a few more innings like that every day, we'd be in good shape."
Pitcher Carley Hoover on her performance Friday...
"I feel like my command was good. Also, I feel like the plan that coach Torina set in place before the game was good. We were on the same page with how we were attacking batters. I am more comfortable when we on the same page like that, so it worked."
Catcher Sahvanna Jaquish on her home run and five RBIs...
"(Alexis) Silkwood always does a really good job. I've hit off of her a lot times in my career. That is just knowing her best pitch and knowing what I have to do. Offensively we hit really well in our plan."
LSU goes for the series victory on Saturday in game two at 6 p.m. at Tiger Park. The game is LSU's sixth-annual "Strikeout Ovarian Cancer" game, as fans are asked to wear teal to the contest.