LSU to host Nicholls in softball

After spending the past 13 games on the road, the No. 13 LSU softball team returns home to Tiger Park to face Nicholls State on Wednesday.

First pitch is slated for 6 p.m., and the game will be carried live by Cox Sports Television. The game also will be broadcast by the LSU Sports Radio Network on 104.9 FM in Baton Rouge.

The Tigers (19-5) posted a series win and took two of three games over Mississippi State opening weekend over Southeastern Conference play, while Nicholls State (8-13) lost two of its three games against Lamar to start Southland Conference action last weekend.

The Colonels are led by Leah Andrus, who has a .308 batting average, one home run and 10 RBIs. Ashton Bennett and Brittany Marcet share the team lead with 11 RBIs apiece.

Bennett has notched six of the team’s eight win with a 2.19 ERA and limited LSU to one run on five hits in a 1-0 loss earlier this season.

“We’re excited to be back at Tiger Park,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “Anytime we’re playing against an in-state opponent, we have to bring our best because we know they’re going to bring their best against us. It’s going to be great to be playing in front of our fans again, and I know we play differently when we have the support of them behind us in the crowd.”

A.J. Andrews and Jacee Blades continue spark the top of the LSU batting order. Both players collected hits in all three games of the Mississippi State series.

Andrews has hit safely in 12 of her last 13 games and has a team-leading 30 hits this season. She also has scored a team-high 20 times, and LSU has won all 12 games this season when Andrews scores a run.

Blades has a team-leading .370 batting average with hits in 11 of her last 13 games. She is third on the team with 27 hits and 14 runs scored.

Rachele Fico, the reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week, upped her record to 12-3 with a pair of wins over the Bulldogs. She has an SEC-best 127 strikeouts with seven shutouts while limiting opponents to a .189 batting average. She had 22 strikeouts to tie an SEC single-game record in Friday’s series opener at Mississippi State.

Ashley Czechner has won all four of her decisions, including victories over Syracuse and Penn State at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic earlier this month. Meghan Patterson (3-2, 1.88 ERA) fired a four-hit shutout with a season’s best eight strikeouts in the win over Nicholls State earlier this season.

The Tiger Park Ticket Office will open 90 minutes before first pitch. Fans can purchase tickets on-site starting at $5 for adult general admission and $3 for youth ages 3-12.

The first 750 fans in attendance will receive a set of LSU softball trading cards.