If you spent the weekend flipping between the baseball series against A&M and the softball series versus Florida, you may have actually thought you were watching the same team on two different channels. In what is undoubtedly the low point of the LSU softball season so far, the No. 7 Tigers were swept by No.1 Florida, scoring just two measly runs over the three-game series. Similar Paul Mainieri’s squad in College Station, Beth Torina’s softball team struggled on offense all weekend while the pitching staff did its best kept the Tigers competitive in the series.
You can have your pick of which stat best summed up LSU’s output over the weekend:
· LSU was shutout for the first 20 innings of the series.
· Sahvanna Jaquish, Kellsi Kloss and Bianka Bell went 3-of-22 in the series with no RBI.
· The Tigers were 3-for-27 with runners on base and 3-of-15 with runners in scoring position.
· LSU stranded 25 runners over the three games.
Credit must be given to Florida as the best staff in the SEC certainly lived up to its accomplishments. Gator ace Aleshia Ocasio pitched in all three games, totaling ten innings, allowing five hits, four walks and striking out ten. Kelly Barnhill and Delanie Gourley also had strong outings over the weekend.
It wasn’t as if Torina didn’t try to spark offense in this series. Both Bailey Landry and Bell saw time as the leadoff hitter while Constance Quinn was in the six spot most of the series. For the finale, Landry hit last while Sandra Simmons was moved to the fifth spot. Simmons was the lone bright spot for the Tiger offense, going four of nine with an RBI.
While the offense struggled, the LSU staff performed admirably. Carly Hoover and Allie Walljasper did their job in the first two games of the series, both going the distance (which for Walljasper was nine innings) surrendering just three runs in their respective starts. Hoover in particular had a strong outing, striking out 13.
A weekend wouldn’t be complete without the Tiger defense committing multiple errors. LSU added three errors over the weekend, costing the team two unearned runs. Florida wasn’t exactly sharp defensively either, also committing three errors in the series.
If the Tigers were going to win this series not only did they have to match the Gators pitching, they also had to score when then the opportunity emerged. The former happened at points, the latter never did.
Any doubt about the Tigers being in a funk should be confirmed after this weekend as they are now, 2-5 in their last seven. Good news in all of this is that it is still relatively early in SEC play and a lot can happen in the next month to rectify the current skid. The Tigers get a much needed six day break before taking on Georgia in Athens, next weekend.