Top of lineup leads LSU softball team past McNeese

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD.LSU's A.J. Andrews, seen here during a game at Tiger Park earlier this year, went 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs as the LSU softball team defeated McNeese State on Wednesday.
Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD.LSU's A.J. Andrews, seen here during a game at Tiger Park earlier this year, went 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs as the LSU softball team defeated McNeese State on Wednesday.

LAKE CHARLES — A.J. Andrews, Jacee Blades and Bianka Bell combined for five runs and six RBIs as the LSU softball team wrapped up its eight-game road swing with a 7-1 victory over McNeese State on Wednesday in front of a record crowd of 1,035 at Cowgirl Diamond.

Andrews, the Tigers’ leadoff hitter, tied a career best with three runs.

LSU (36-9) has won all 23 games this season when
Andrews crosses the plate.

Bell cranked her team-leading 11th home run on the season, a three-run shot, to fuel a five-run fourth inning. It marked Bell’s 12th straight outing with a RBI, extending her program-record streak.

Simone Heyward, Kellsi Kloss and Sandra Simmons also collected two hits apiece.

LSU pitcher Meghan Patterson (6-2) went the distance, allowing one run on three hits and three walks. She had three strikeouts.

“They did a good job, and A.J. Andrews was fantastic today,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “What a day she had. A lot of them swung the bat really well, especially early in the game. The defense was solid all around, and they communicated well. I thought the defense was set up with Meghan throwing so well. ... The better our pitching is, the better our defense is.”

LSU (36-9) has won eight of its last 10 games. McNeese State (32-11), the top team in the Southland Conference, suffered only its fourth loss since March 10.

The Tigers scored once in the first and second innings to grab a 2-0 lead.

Bell later cleared the bases when she belted a 2-0 offering over the left-field scoreboard for a three-run homer — her eighth in the last 18 games.