From LSU Sports
BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU Tiger softball team scoredthree big runs in the bottom half of the fourth hanks to back-to-back home runsfrom Kellsi Kloss and Allison Falcon, while freshman pitcher Baylee Corbelloearned her second consecutive complete-game shutout to defeat the NorthwesternWildcats 4-0 in game one of the 2014 Tiger Invitational for LSU.
LSU (5-2) produced just four hits against the Wildcats(4-2), but made all of them count as Falcon accounted for two of the four,going 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored, while Kloss went 1-for-3 with two RBIand a run scored. Sahvanna Jaquish had the only other hit for the Tigers on thenight, scoring once.
Although Corbello didn't reach double-digit strikeouts forthe third straight game, she was able to work out of some sticky situationslate thanks to some help from the defense, scattering four hits with eightstrikeouts and six walks. The Lake Charles, La., native allowed two hits to thefirst two batters of the game and did not give up the final two until thesixth.
"She is doing a great job," head coach Beth Torina said. "Wewill work to eliminate some of the walks, continue working ahead of hitters,and having the strikeout numbers she has been having."
With very little opportunities after the first few innings,it looked like the Tigers were once again going to leave one stranded as Bellgot hit to reach first base with two outs in the fourth. Instead, Kloss rearedback and cranked one over the fence in center to give LSU the 2-0 lead.
On the very next at-bat, and with two outs still on theboard, the Tigers got another big spark as Falcon took a 3-2 count into theseventh pitch in the showdown and drilled a shot over the fence in left fieldfor the back-to-back jacks putting LSU up 3-0 over the Wildcats.
It was the 19th time in team history thatteammates connected for consecutive home runs in a game, as the 2013 team didit twice.
"I think that is one of the best adjustments I have seenthis team make in a long time," Torina said. "I was really happy with that.They stepped up and made the adjustment. It showed right away."
Corbello ran into her biggest hurdle in the top of the sixthinning, as Northwestern put two on with one out. After a pop fly to Blades atshort, she gave up her first hit since the first inning to put the first on,with the Wildcats getting an infield single to put two on. Fortunately, afly ball to center kept the runners at bay for the second out, with Corbellogetting a big strikeout to end the inning and keep the shutout intact.
The freshman made it thrilling again in the final inning,walking the first batter of the frame to put one on. A fielder's choice got thelead runner out at second for the second out, but another walk put two back onto put the pressure back on. All of it diffused on the very next at bat asCorbello got her final strikeout to close the door and seal the win for LSU.
Game Two: LSU 14, George Washington 4
After hitting her first home run of the season earlier inthe afternoon, redshirt senior infielder Allison Falcon put the No. 21 LSUTiger Softball team up for good with a grand slam home run in her second at-batof the second inning in the midst of a nine-run explosion to lead LSU pastGeorge Washington 14-4 in five innings to close day one of the 2014 TigerInvitational.
On the strength of three multiple run innings, LSU (6-2)scored all 14 runs on nine hits while taking 10 walks against George Washington(0-7), as Ashley Czechner earned her third win of the season allowing fourruns, three earned, on five hits with six strikeouts and four walks.
Falcon was one of the three Tiger batters with multi-RBIefforts, as she set a career high with all four coming on her bomb in thesecond, finishing 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Simone Heyward drove in threeand scored once, going 1-for-2, while A.J. Andrews was 1-for-1 with two RBI andtwo runs scored. Eight different LSU hitters registered at least one base knockon the night, as Alex Boulet, Jacee Blades, Sandra Simmons, Alayna Falcon andConstance Quinn each had one.
"I was actually thinking just to do something small like geta single," she said. "I just had to see what kind of pitch I was going to getand do what I can with it. On the second homerun, I just wanted to get a couplemore assurance runs for (Ashley) Czechner."
After giving up a run to the Colonials in the first inning,the Tigers turned around and in the bottom half of that very same inning platedtwo runs with no hits thanks to GW miscues. A walk to Andrews opened theinning, as she would go on to steal second base after a strikeout to Blades.She would wind up on third after a passed ball. A walk to Simmons put runnersat the corners, as she would goad the Colonial catcher into overthrowing secondbase allowing Andrews to score to make it 1-1 and advance Simmons to third.
Simmons gave LSU the 2-1 lead after scoring on a wild pitchwith only one out on the board for the Tigers. Unfortunately, consecutiveground outs ended the LSU inning.
LSU broke through in a big way in the very next inning,getting a two-RBI single by Andrews to go along with hits from Falcon andSimmons to start to move ahead comfortably. But the inning really belonged toFalcon who came up to bat for the second time and went to a full count beforelaunching a shot over the Berm in left to give LSU an 11-1 advantage. LSUscored all nine of its runs on just four hits in the inning, with six walks byGeorge Washington pitching.
After a scoreless inning for LSU in the third while GeorgeWashington got two back in their half of that inning to make it 11-3, the Tigeroffense came back to life, led by a bases clearing triple by Heyward to scoreQuinn and Alayna Falcon to make it 13-3. Boulet earned her RBI on the very nextplay as she singled to left scoring the speedy Heyward to put the Tigers backup 11.
"This night was definitely an example of how contagioushitting can be," Allison Falcon said. "We got a couple runs, and I just wantedto keep the bat going and keep passing the bat. That is what our coach alwaystries to instill in us, to keep passing the bat and let the person behind youget an at-bat."
Although the Colonials would put another run on the board inthe fifth thanks to two hits, Czechner would close the door with a line out,strikeout and pop fly to finish the job and earn the victory.LSU will be back in action tomorrow afternoon, taking onSouth Alabama and George Washington in day two's action.