The Tigers returned to their winning ways, taking two of three from Missouri, thanks to a bounce back weekend by the pitching staff.
LSU’s trio of hurlers combined to surrender just five runs to Missouri over the weekend, keeping a powerful MU lineup in check. The weekend started off with Allie Walljasper notching a complete game with four strikeouts, two hits and a walk. Game one of Saturday’s double header saw Carley Hoover go 6.2 innings (with Walljasper getting the final out) striking out six in the process. Sydney Smith would toss 6.2 innings of her own, surrendering three unearned runs and only three walks and eight hits, with one strikeout. After the previous weekend’s struggles, the Tigers pitching staff locking down this weekend was certainly a promising sign.
Unfortunately, the LSU pitching was not supported by the defense. In total, the Tigers committed five errors on the weekend but four in the finale leading to those three unearned runs charged to Smith. Three of those errors were charged to Shemiah Sanchez.
Offensively, the Tigers seven total runs were not at all what would be considered ideal against such a mediocre MU pitching staff. Two positives from the weekend were the top of the lineup and the come from behind win on Friday. Beth Torina reunited the trio of Emily Griggs, Bailey Landry and Sahvanna Jaquish at the top of the order with Connie Quinn hitting cleanup. Those four carried most of the Tiger offense of the weekend. Jaquish and Quinn led all Tigers in RBI’s over the weekend with two each. Friday’s game also saw LSU mount a 2-run comeback after Mizzou took the lead in the first.
Of course, there was still a lot to be desired. In some way’s this weekend was typical of LSU early in the season where the top of the lineup did most or all of the work while the bottom did next to nothing. Amber Serrett, Shemaiah Sanchez and Aliyah Andrews all had pretty quiet box scores over the weekend. In fairness, Walljasper and Nikki Dawson were solid in limited at bats during the series.
What was particularly frustrating over the weekend was the finale. Aside from the defense which likely cost the Tigers the game, LSU had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded, down by two with one out, only to have Quinn pop out to first and Doyle line out to left. Lost in the final score was that LSU was being shutout up until the seventh inning and it was an Andrews’ single that broke the scoring streak.
LSU probably walks away from this weekend with equal parts content and disappointment, in part evidenced by Torina’s post game comments. As mentioned in the preview it’s not only about winning as many games as possible, but also doing so in style. Based on what LSU has done so far, doing two-of-three isn’t really going to make the Tigers look much more qualified to host a regional. Especially given the quality, or lack of, in Missouri.
Now was kind of the time for the Tigers to find their stride. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen next weekend or in the SEC tournament, but it has to happen in the next three games. LSU needs to substantially build its resume, and this weekend was not a substantial enough. The Tigers close out the regular against the Gamecocks next weekend.