LSU softball team falls at Mississippi State, 2-1

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State softball team rallied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday to drop LSU 2-1 at the MSU Softball Stadium.

The Bulldogs (16-5, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) snapped a 21-game losing streak to LSU (18-5, 1-1), a string that began in 2005.

Meghan Patterson started Saturday’s game for LSU, less than 24 hours after teammate Rachele Fico threw all 14 innings in a 1-0 victory.

Patterson shut out Mississippi State through five innings in first career SEC start, but gave up a solo home run to Logan Foulks with one out in the sixth. It was Foulks’ team-leading sixth homer of the season, and it tied the score at 1.

The Bulldogs continued their charge after Sam Lenahan drew a one-out walk. Pinch runner Kayla Winkfield stole second base, and Jessica Cooley reached first base after a wild pitch on a third strike, putting runners on the corners. Shelby Fisher delivered an RBI single through the left side, driving in the game-winning run.

Mississippi State turned to its ace, Allison Owen, out of the bullpen. She retired the Tigers in order to secure the 2-1 win and notch her third save of the season.

Kylie Vry (2-2) recorded a pair of strikeouts in her one relief inning.

Patterson (3-2) had five strikeouts versus three walks in 5.1 innings. She gave up two runs on four hits.

“Mississippi State did a good job,” coach Beth Torina said. “Foulks hit the ball well. Other than that, I thought Meghan had a very nice performance and did a good job in the circle. I would expect our offense to be able to score more runs.”

LSU scored the game’s first run in the fifth inning. Kailey McCasland started the inning and was hit by a pitch.

After pinch runner Alex Boulet advanced to second on Simone Heyward’s sacrifice bunt, Boulet stole third base. She crossed the plate on A.J. Andrews perfect execution of a squeeze bunt.

“Alex always makes things happen for us when she’s on base,” Torina said. “She’s a special base runner, and I’m so confident she’s going to score when she enters the game.”

The Tigers were poised to extend their lead after Andrews stole second base and Jacee Blades singled to right field.

Two batters later, Bianka Bell dropped a bunt down the first-base line and avoided the tag as Andrews scored. However, plate umpire Will Lieske overruled his counterpart at first base and called Bell out of the baseline for the inning’s final out.

The teams meet again at 1 p.m. Sunday in the series finale.

“It’s going to be a tough day without question,” Torina said. “I’m sure we’ll see Allison Owen pitch for them again. She’s been good for them, and we’ll definitely have our hard (work) cut out for us.”