A lack of offense potency and three fielding errors helped LSU walkawaywitha4-2winover Southern Miss, which is their first loss to a ranked opponent.
“I think we can play with anybody in the country,” said Head Coach Wendy Hogue. “We have all the tools for that. I also know we got to play better defense and be tougher mentally.”
Lauren Holifield started the game off with a solo home run that gave the Golden Eagles an early 1 – 0 lead.
Following the home run, the Golden Eagle defense stayed firm, as they turned a double play in the top of the second inning to keep LSU in check.
However, LSU starting pitcher Sydney Smith shutout the Golden Eagle for the next five innings and retired the first three batters of the Golden Eagle lineup each time.
LSU took the lead, 2-1, after two back-to-back RBI-singles from LSU’s Shemiah Sanchez and Constance Quin.
Momentum stayed with LSU in the fifth inning, as left fielder Selena Estrada had a fielding and throwing error, extending the LSU lead, 4-1.
The Golden Eagles did find last-minute life in the bottom of the seventh when Samantha Reynolds started the inning with a leadoff hit and found extra bases with an LSU error. Estrada made up for her previous errors and drove in Reynolds on a RBI-single, closing the lead at 4-2.
Yet, the upset was not in the Golden Eagle cards as Smith struck out Samantha Robles to propel LSU for the win.
“I feel like we had a very good softball team on their heels tonight,” Hogue said. “I think we gave them all they wanted, but I just wish we could have come out on top.”
Lauren Holifield was 2-for-3 on the night and Reynolds was 1-for-1 at the plate as well. Smith completed the game and compiled seven strikeouts in her performance.
Golden Eagle starting pitcher Jillian Johnson posted a solid outing allowing six hits on four runs (two earned) and kept LSU scoreless for four innings.
“We just got to get out here and play,” Hogue said. “We want to look at winning one pitch at a time, one inning at a time and one game at a time.”
The Golden Eagles will face Alcon State in a doubleheader on March 2 starting at 4 p.m.