LSU softball travels to Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. — The 10th-ranked LSU softball team will play its first road game of the season when the Tigers meet Ole Miss at 5 p.m. Wednesday for a rare nonconference matchup at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.

LSU (4-1) won four of its five games on opening weekend at the Tiger Classic highlighted by victories over No. 22 North Carolina and Tulsa, a pair of NCAA regional and 40-win programs from a season ago.

As part of their 24-game Southeastern Conference schedule, which begins on March 9, the Tigers will not play Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee for a three-game series in the regular season.

The last time LSU played an SEC opponent during the nonconference portion of its schedule was a 5-2 victory over No. 6 Georgia at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in 2004.

“We’re excited about Wednesday’s game at Ole Miss,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “It will be neat to play them so early in the season in a nonconference setting. This will be good experience to get our team out on the road and have the freshman understand what that’s all about.”

Allison Falcon, a Tiger Classic all-tournament pick, hit safely in all five games and posted a team-leading .429 batting average. Three of her six hits were doubles, and she added three RBIs. From the leadoff spot, A.J. Andrews collected five hits and hit .444.

“Ultimately, I thought it was a great opening weekend,” Torina said. “We had some players step up and do some really good things. I really liked how the freshmen performed across the board. Our offense swung the bats well the entire weekend. Even when we weren’t scoring runs, we were hitting the ball hard from start-to-finish and putting together quality at-bats.”

The Tigers had six players make their LSU debuts. The quartet of Bianka Bell, Kellsi Kloss, Sandra Simmons and Hailey Smith combined to rack up eight hits and seven RBIs on the weekend. Kloss belted a solo homer in LSU’s 1-0 victory over Purdue.

“The experience that our freshmen are getting this time of year is going to be so valuable when we get later into the season,” Torina said. “They’re extremely talented and going to do big things for this program in the near future.”

LSU’s pitching staff started the season with a 24.2 scoreless inning streak. Rachele Fico, the reigning SEC pitcher of the week, pick up wins in both of her games. The senior right-hander notched 14 strikeouts, her second-highest total, in a 10-inning shutout of Tulsa.