LSU softball team takes series opener vs. Hogs

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — LSU scored four runs in the third inning and got a complete game from pitcher Rachele Fico to take an 8-2 victory to begin their Southeastern Conference baseball series Friday night.

Arkansas was led at the plate by freshman Nicole Schroeder, who notched two hits off of Fico. Chloe Oprzedek also provided some fireworks at the plate as she lined an RBI-double off the wall in the sixth inning.

“We just have to keep on fighting,” Arkansas coach Mike Larabee said. “The bottom line is, we didn’t play Razorback softball tonight. We didn’t pitch or defend well. I thought we had some quality at bats off of a very good pitcher. Our goal is to come out and get one tomorrow.”

Arkansas starter Chelsea Cohen struck out A.J. Andrews and Jacee Blades to start the game before giving up a single to Bianka Bell. Cohen walked Allison Falcon to put two runners on for Sandra Simmons, who then delivered a two-out RBI single that gave LSU a 1-0 lead after the top of the first.

After Cohen worked a 1-2-3 second inning, Andrews led off the third with a single. She stole second base and was hit home two batters later by Bell. Her second hit of the game, a double, gave LSU a 2-0 lead.

Simmons later notched a two-run triple that gave the Tigers a 4-0 advantage. Rikki Alcaraz followed with a double and that brought home another run. Cohen then walked Tammy Wray and gave way to her senior classmate, Hope McLemore. Andrews and Blades started the fourth inning with back-to-back singles for LSU.

“I thought we did an excellent job on the offensive end, and a lot of people contributed to tonight’s win,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “We did everything from hitting the ball off the wall to bunt singles and showed a lot of versatility mixing up in our offensive approach. Sandra was spectacular and provided some key hits in situations with runners on-base.”

After a passed ball, both runners advanced and then Andrews scored on a groundout from Bell. McLemore got Falcon and Simmons to fly out to end the top half of the inning.

LSU added another run in the top half of the sixth as Andrews got her third hit of the day and then scored on a Falcon single. Falcon’s 22nd RBI of the year gave LSU a 7-0 lead.

In the seventh, pinch hitter Dylan Supak walked on four straight pitches, and the Tigers added another run to make the final score 8-2.

The series continues at 1 p.m. Saturday.