Entering this series all the Tigers really had to do was make sure they won at least four out of these five games. They did just that.
The one game the Tigers did lose this weekend was not to Ohio State, but rather Pacific on Saturday night. Defense and offense were the downfall in that game. Allie Walljasper pitched six innings and surrendered just two unearned runs. It isn’t unusual to see Walljasper be the victim of poor defense, as her pitching style often puts the ball in play more than Hoover.
Unfortunately the offense was equally as maddening. LSU left 11 on base against Pacific, failing to capitalize on five hits and eight walks. Yes, LSU lost an early season game to what is projected to be an inferior team. Yes, the defense could be a potential problem. No, this is not the end of the world.
Beth Torina said entering this weekend to expect five different lineups. She was not kidding. Not only did she experiment with the batting order but she experimented with the defense as well. The only real constant was Emily Griggs, Bailey Landry, Bianka Bell, Kellsi Kloss, Savanna Jaquish and Sandra Simmons occupying batting one through six, in some particular order.
Good news is that minus the first game against Pacific, everything else pretty much clicked as expected. All three Tiger wins game via the run-rule, with just five runs surrendered by the pitching staff. The pitching MVP for this weekend would likely go to Carly Hoover who had 14 strikeouts in 11 shutout innings over the weekend. Also impressive in her Tiger debut was Sydney Smith with a five inning, one-hit shutout featuring eight strikeouts.
Offensively Bell had six RBI’s over the tournament, Jaquish had nine. Amongst the newcomers, Amber Serrett had a strong weekend, seeing time at left field, shortstop and as the Designated Player.
As for the defense, the six errors LSU had over the weekend is not a good total. Part of this might be readjusting to actual gameplay; part of this might be players playing out of position. The mistakes cost the Tigers one game this series. If the sloppy play continues this coming weekend, it will likely cost the Tigers more than one game.
Overall though, this was a good weekend. LSU showed dominance and after next weekend there should be a better indication of how good this team is.