BATON ROUGE - LSU Softball exploded for seven runs on seven hits in the top of the fourth inning to propel the Tigers to a 10-1 win against McNeese in six innings in Game 5 of the Baton Rouge Regional Sunday night at Tiger Park.
With the win, LSU improves to 43-19 on the season while McNeese fell to 43-18.
LSU advanced to Sunday's Game 6, which is slated to begin at 10:37 p.m. CT. If necessary, Game 7 will take place Monday at a time to be determined.
Carley Hoover earned the win after limiting McNeese to one run on three hits in a complete game effort. She walked three and struck out three, improving to 12-6 on the year.
Baylee Corbello suffered the loss for the Cowgirls and fell to 11-5 on the season. She tossed 3.1 innings and gave up five runs-four earned-on six hits and struck out two.
In the bottom of the second, left fielder Marisa Taunton reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a groundout to second base. With Taunton on third and a runner on first after a walk, the Cowgirls pulled off a double steal. Taunton touched home and gave McNeese the 1-0 lead.
LSU knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the third. Centerfielder Emily Griggs dropped a bunt and reached safely for a single. The junior advanced to third after catcher Sahvanna Jaquish sent a double down the right field like and scored on a passed ball.
The Tigers put up a seven-run fifth inning to jump out to an 8-1 lead. With one out, third baseman Shemiah Sanchez singled down the left field line and second baseman singled to centerfield to put runners on first and second for Sydney Springfield. The designated hitter ripped a double down the left field line to drive in both runners.
With Springfield on second, shortstop Amber Serrett singled to centerfield, and there were runners in scoring position for pinch hitter Taylor Satchell. The sophomore took a walk the bases. Aliyah Andrews re-entered the game at first base.
Griggs followed with double to left-center to clear the bases, and Jaquish followed with a double of her own to right-center to drive in Griggs. After McNeese moved to their third pitcher of the inning, right fielder Bailey Landry sent a chopper over the first baseman's head to drive in the Tigers' seventh run of the fifth.
LSU added two runs in the top of the sixth to extend the lead to 10-1. With one out and Jaquish at first, Landry singled to third base with a bunt to put runners on first and second. First baseman Amada Doyle reached on a fielding error by the first baseman to load the bases for Sanchez, who ripped a single to centerfield, driving in Jaquish and Landry.
Landry's hit in the top of the sixth tied her with has tied Stephanie Hastings (1998-2001) for second all-time with 288 career hits. She sits two hits behind Dee Douglas, who had 290 from 1998-2000.
The game was originally supposed to begin at 1:34 p.m. CT, but due to lightning in the area, Game 5 did not begin until 2:18 p.m., marking a 44-minute delay.
In the bottom of the second inning with one out, a McNeese runner on second and a 3-2 count to third baseman Shelbi Strickland, the game was suspended due to inclement weather. The delay started at 2:47 p.m. CT and lasted for a total of 5 hours and 45 minutes. There was a total of 6 hours and 29 minutes of delay.
BATON ROUGE -LSU's Carley Hoover fired her second complete game of the day, and the Tiger offense stayed hot as No. 21 LSU defeated No. 14 UL-Lafayette, 6-1, at Tiger Park Monday morning, forcing a Game 7 to determine the champion of the Baton Rouge Regional.
With the win, LSU improves to 44-19 while UL-Lafayette falls to 47-7.
Game 7 is slated to begin at 1 p.m. CT and will be available online through WatchESPN on ESPN3. Fans can use their Game 6 tickets to enter the park for Game 7. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. CT. Tickets are still available for purchase at Tiger Park.
The Tigers will be the home team in tomorrow's game, and the Ragin' Cajuns will be the visitor.
Updates will be posted at LSUsports.net/softball, Twitter @LSUsoftball and Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsusoftball Saturday night.
Hoover fired all seven innings and allowed only one run on five hits and struck out six, improving to 13-6 on the season.
UL-Lafayette starter Alex Stewart suffered the loss and fell to 27-4 on the season. The right-hander allowed three runs on three hits and struck out one in two innings.
"I thought we carried a lot of momentum from game one against McNeese into this game, head coach Beth Torina said. "I thought we swung the bats really well against McNeese. I thought the dugout had a ton of energy, and we were able to carry it in. Obviously, (pitcher) Carley Hoover was the big difference. What a day. You can't say enough about her performance today; it was unbelievable."
LSU grabbed the early 1-0 lead in the top of the second. With designated hitter Sydney Springfield and second baseman Constance Quinn in scoring positon and one out after being hit by consecutive pitches, shortstop Amber Serrett perfectly executed a safety squeeze to drive in Springfield.
With centerfielder Emily Griggs on first after leading off the top of the third with a hard-hit single to center, catcher Sahvanna Jaquish crushed a ball over the left-centerfield wall to give LSU the 3-0 lead. Her home run marked her ninth blast of the year.
Quinn led off the top of the fourth with a single through the left side and advanced to second on a passed ball. With one out and Quinn on third after a groundout, Serrett ripped a single down the left field line as LSU jumped out to the 4-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth inning with two outs, Serrett hit her fourth home run of the season, a solo shot, to left field. Following Serrett's home run, left fielder Aliyah Andrews beat out an infield single to third base and scored on Griggs' fourth hit of the evening, a single up the middle. LSU added two insurance runs in the inning to extend the lead to 6-0.
Catcher Lexie Comeaux reached on an error by the catcher to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, and Sarah Arceneaux entered to pinch run at first. With Arceneaux at third after consecutive groundouts, left fielder Kelli Martinez singled to the second baseman to break up the shutout.
"We've been to the College World Series three times here, and every time we've been on the ropes like this in all three years I believe," Torina said. "I think it gives us a lot of momentum. Now, we're back to even ... We're matched up evenly tomorrow, and we'll see where it goes."