Advocate news services
March 21, 2013
Ashley Czechner tossed a one-hit shutout as the LSU softball team collected its 20th victory of the season, an 8-0 five-inning decision over Nicholls State on Wednesday at Tiger Park.
LSU (20-5), playing its first home game since Feb. 17, scored all of its runs during an eight-run first inning.
“What a relief to be home,” coach Beth Torina said. “We have the best fans in the country, and it was great to be back in front of them. It helps us play better, and we’re happy to be back at home.”
A.J. Andrews and Jacee Blades set the table in the first with a single and a walk. After Allison Falcon grounded out into a fielder’s choice, Bianka Bell was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.
Kellsi Kloss forced in the game’s first run with a walk, while Sandra Simmons followed with a two-run double into the left-center gap, extending LSU’s lead to 3-0.
Tammy Wray and Dylan Supak hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it 5-0. The Tigers continued to put the pressure on, as Guillory knocked another single to reload the bases. Two batters later, Blades belted a two-run double to left-center. Guillory scored on a wild pitch to complete the eight-run frame.
“I was excited to swing away,” Blades said. “I was able to do that because my team set up the situation for me. If the people weren’t on base, I would have had to slap and play the smaller game. Since we were ahead, I was able to swing away. That helps my confidence definitely, and I feel better about that situation.”
LSU improved to 12-0 when scoring a first-inning run. The Tigers also have outscored their opponents by a 36-4 margin during the first inning on the season.
That would be more than enough run support for Czechner, who went to retire 10 straight and not allow another Nicholls base runner until the fifth inning. She finished with four strikeouts against one walk and improved to 5-0 on the season.
LSU opens a three-game series with Kentcuky at 6 p.m. Friday at Tiger Park.
ULL sweeps Louisiana Tech
LAFAYETTE — Brianna Cherry had five hits and Sarah Draheim drove in five runs to help the Cajuns to a doubleheader sweep of Louisiana Tech on Wednesday night at Lamson Park.
The Cajuns won the opener 4-1 before an offensive outburst in the second game led them to a 9-1 win over the Lady Techsters.
“I’m proud of the kids,” coach Michael Lotief said. “They had fight, and a good perspective. They understand what this journey is all about and we’re just going to keep on fighting together.”
The Cajuns scored all four runs of the first game in the first inning. Natalie Fernandez kicked off the game with a walk and advanced to third on a Cherry double. ULL followed that up with an error to bring in Cherry and then three walks and another error to take a 4-0 lead.
Jordan Wallace tossed the complete game, allowing just one run on four hits over seven innings. She had six strikeouts and one walk.
The Cajuns were quick to score in the second game, as well, getting three runs across in the first three innings.
Sarah Draheim hit her seventh home run of the season, driving in Cherry and Fernandez to take a 3-0 lead with no outs in the first.
Matte Haack picked up a two-RBI single and Sara Corbello hit an RBI single in the second to make it 6-0, driving in Fernandez, Leandra Maly and Draheim.
Victoria Brown pitched the complete game for the Cajuns and improved to 4-0. She tossed 5.0 innings, allowing one run on three hits and no walks, while striking out three batters.