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Softball Weekend Recap: PAC-12 Attack

Tigers return to Baton Rouge on a two-game losing streak

Amanda Doyle
Ryan McCarble / LSUSports

Although the Tigers finished their west coast road trip with a winning record, the trip ended with a 9-1 run-rule loss No.3 UCLA and 4-0 loss to No.5 Oregon, where both the offense and pitching failed to come up big in what were two of the most important games early in the season.

The loss to UCLA marks the first time LSU has lost via run-rule since 2015. Allie Walljasper struggled immensely against the Bruin lineup. She surrendered two runs in the first inning on a two-run home run and was pulled in the third after allowing three more runs, having recorded zero outs. She was relieved by Maribeth Gorsuch who closed out the inning but also yielded four more runs.

LSU’s offense was equally ineffective, managing just two hits and a run, which came when Amber Serrett scored on an interference call.

Carley Hoover’s stat line against the Ducks doesn’t do her performance justice. She is certainly on the hook for the two-run home run surrendered in the second, but an errant throw from Becca Schulte scored the other two Duck runs. Hoover wasn’t her total dominant self but a complete game with three hits, three walks, and six strikeouts against the No.5 team in the country is still a strong outing.

The Tiger offense was even more lifeless in the second game, with just four total base runners. Emily Griggs walked twice. Amanda Doyle and Shemiah Sanchez each had a hit.

Aside from these two games, the Tigers were pretty dominant the rest of the weekend, including a pair of run-rule wins.

Doyle continued her establish herself as LSU’s top offensive player, reaching base twice in each of the four victories. Her best game of the California stretch was a two hit, two walk, five RBI performance against Fresno State.

Other strong offensive performers on the weekend included Serrett with six hits in the first four games of the trip, and Schulte and Sanchez each recording a 3 RBI game against the Pacific.

Hoover combined for 12 innings of work against San Jose State and Fresno State, allowing two earned while striking out 16. Walljasper threw a complete game shutout versus Pacific, striking out ten. Gorsuch got the call against Nevada and scattered six hits and two runs over her seven innings, striking out four.

There are few instances in a season where a team can win four of six and still feel disappointed. Best case scenario from this weekend is that a young offense, that is improving, ran into a couple of buzzsaws that put a temporary halt. This doesn’t really account for the pitching, but event the great’s have a bad day. Better now then later.

This weekend certainly should be viewed as a setback, at least a mild one. Wins against UCLA and Oregon would have solidified the Tigers at the top of the polls, likely entering conference play. The losses simply revealed the team is still growing, something that was well known entering the year. LSU is back at Tiger Park for five games, beginning on Friday.