KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 6 seed LSU beat No. 11 seed Missouri 6-5 in an unexpectedly high-scoring affair to close out the first day of competition in the 2017 SEC Softball Tournament.
The teams averaged just over four combined runs per game in their three-game regular season matchup.
Sahvanna Jaquish was the hero of the day, hitting a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the fourth inning, her fifth career grand slam at LSU.
Relief pitcher Sydney Smith (11-6) was credited with the win while starting pitcher Allie Walljasper was credited with her second save on the season after coming back in to strike out the final batter in the seventh inning.
The LSU offense struck first, scoring two runs off the first two pitches in the bottom of the second. Senior Constance Quinn opened the side with a single to shortstop. Freshman Sydney Springfield sent the next pitch over the centerfield wall for a two-run home run, her ninth of the year.
After a scoreless third, Missouri's first four batters got on base in the top of the fourth, starting with singles by Kolby Romaine and Anna Reed. Walljasper then walked Rylee Pierce to load the bases. After pulling six pitches out of Walljasper, Natalie Fleming's 2 RBI single to left center tied the game at 2-2.
LSU head coach Beth Torina called Smith to the circle, who promptly retired the next two batters, closing the side.
Missouri pitcher Cheyenne Baxter (16-9) looked to have things in control but then the wheels fell off. Baxter struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the fourth, and then walked the next three, loading the bases. LSU took a 6-2 lead when Sahvanna Jaquish hit a grand slam over left center.
Jaquish has hit at least one grand slam each year she has been at LSU.
Both teams were held scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings. Mizzou sparked a three-run rally to narrow the LSU lead to 6-5. Torina put Walljasper back in the circle, who struck out Reed to seal the win.
Torina had prepped Walljasper when she pulled her in the fourth to be ready to come back in.
"Well she told me when I got taken out to just be ready," Walljasper said. "I had all the faith in Sydney. She did a great job coming in for me, especially with the bases loaded."
UP NEXT: LSU faces No. 3 seed Tennessee in Game 8 tomorrow. The first pitch is scheduled for approximately 7:30 pm ET.