BATON ROUGE, La. - The No. 16 LSU softball team snapped its four-game losing streak by scoring four unanswered runs over the course of two innings early and defeating the Northwestern State Lady Demons 5-2 Tuesday night at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge.
The Tigers (33-12) put up a pair of crooked numbers in the third and fourth inning with two runs in each to jump out to a 4-0 lead and added a bit of insurance with a run in the sixth to add a small cushion over the Lady Demons (18-26-1) after the visitors scored two runs in the top of the same frame.
Coming off of that tough loss in the finale against Ole Miss last Saturday, sophomore pitcher Sydney Smith (10-3) returned to the circle and became the second LSU pitcher this season to reach double figure wins as she allowed just one hit, striking out five and issuing just one walk in 6.1 innings. Weathering an hour delay in the game due to rain and lightning, Smith tossed just 79 pitches on Tuesday, with 58 for strikes, with 18 coming on the first pitch.
Emily Griggs had two of LSU's six hits in the game, roping two doubles with an RBI and a run scored. Four of LSU's hits were doubles, with Bailey Landry driving in two on hers, while Amber Serrett had the other with a run scored.
Northwestern State's Katelyn Boles (5-12) earned the loss as she gave up four runs in 3.1 innings of work, as she only allowed one hit during that time but issuing six of the team's nine walks Lady Demon pitchers gave up on the night. Mikayla Brown gave up five hits and walked three, allowing just a run with a strikeout.
Northwestern State only had three hits on the night, coming from Hailee Rhodes, Jordan Rains and Julie Rawls.
The Game Turned When...
LSU plated two runs in the bottom of the third inning, which spanned over an hour due to the rain delay. It started with Sydney Springfield getting hit by a pitch to take first before the rains became heavier and halted play. When play resumed a sacrifice bunt from Aliyah Andrews moved her over to second, as Griggs chopped a double down the left field line to score Springfield from second to make it 1-0, as the next run would come in on a bases loaded walk.
Head Coach Beth Torina on Sydney Smith's performance...
"Sydney is not fazed by anything. She is just a worker. She puts her head down and does the work. She does not need the attention. She does not need any of it. She just does her job. It is great to have a player like that."
Sydney Smith on getting a win after the weekend...
"This win was really important for us. Just to get back out on the field and to do what we do best, play good defense and hit the ball hard and just getting back to the fundamentals after a tough loss. I think that this game will give us a confidence boost going into Tennessee."
Emily Griggs on moving in the order...
"I'll hit nine or six. One through nine, I don't really care. As long as I get to put the uniform on and represent the best university in the country. Whatever coach needs me to do for the team doesn't bother me."
LSU will be back in action this weekend, hosting the Tennessee Volunteers for a three-game SEC series at Tiger Park this Friday-Sunday.