Tammy Wray, Bianka Bell homer as LSU tops Southeastern

LSU junior pitcher Meghan Patterson pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the seventh inning as the Tigers held off a late Southeastern Louisiana rally in a 5-1 victory in nonconference softball action Tuesday night at Tiger Park.

LSU got home runs from Tammy Wray and Bianka Bell to take a 5-0 lead by the fifth inning.

Southeastern, meanwhile, had opportunities throughout the game, but the Lady Lions stranded 10 batters.

Kelsey Nichols, Michelle Duhe, Katie Doyle, Megan McCollum and Katie Lacour all had hits for Southeastern (18-11). Lady Lions senior pitcher Kati Morse took the loss, holding the Tigers (28-6) to three earned runs in a complete game.

LSU took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against Morse (2-3). Errors by sophomore third baseman Megan Moore and McCollum led to two runs, while a double by sophomore designated player Rikki Alcaraz forced in the inning’s third run.

The Lady Lions put runners on in the first four innings against Patterson (5-2), mounting their best early threat in the top of the third inning. Kayla Elswick walked, then moved to second on an error when Lacour reached on a fielder’s choice, putting a pair of runners on with one out.

But Patterson recovered to retire freshman designated player Amber Sather and Nichols to get out of the inning.

LSU padded its lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Wray led off the frame by lining her team-high seventh home run of the season over the left-field fence to put the Tigers up 4-0. But Wray only held the team lead by herself for one inning, as Bell hit her seventh homer in the bottom of the fifth to push LSU ahead 5-0.

Southeastern mounted another threat in the top of the sixth. Singles by Nichols and McCollum put a pair of runners on with two outs. However, Patterson got Doyle to fly out to keep the Lions off the board.

The Lady Lions put a scare into the Tigers in the top of the seventh inning, after LSU emptied its bench, bringing in Bell to pitch. She walked junior outfielder Logane Fuselier, hit Elswick and gave up a single to Lacour to load the bases with one out.

LSU then brought Patterson back in, who then struck out Sather for the second out.

Nichols drew a walk to force in a run, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Moore. Patterson was able to get her to chase an outside pitch to end Southeastern’s late-inning rally.

Southeastern will return home to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for a three-game Southland Conference series, which begins with a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Friday.